Which way do we go? A story-based approach to archaeological interpretation of the rock art of Castle Rock, Chillagoe, North Queensland, Australia

Ellwood, W. Galiina, Winn, Nicola B., Campbell, John B., and Ray, Owen C. (2013) Which way do we go? A story-based approach to archaeological interpretation of the rock art of Castle Rock, Chillagoe, North Queensland, Australia. Rock Art Research, 30 (1). pp. 67-73.

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Abstract

Analysis of the rock art motifs at Castle Rock, near Chillagoe, north Queensland, has shown that this site provides a detailed landscape map of the surrounding country. A series of motifs shaped like asterisks or stars suggest vertical views of a number of the individual limestone tower karsts of the district, containing site complexes and other important cultural landscape features (such as springs and mines). We measured the alignments from the central star and concluded that the relative positions of the star motifs are an accurate representation of the landscape features. Another set of motifs at Castle Rock, 18 dingo paw prints, mirrors the peaks of the western Featherbed Range near the Walsh River. The Walsh represents a major shared travel route for the Mbarbarum, Wakamen and Kuku Djungan. Other motifs also appear to represent major site locations such as mound springs located in the adjoining Mbarbarum country. This suggests that the palaeomap represented by the ceiling rock art of Castle Rock sits at or near an intersection of primary trade and travel routes between the surrounding woodland savannahs and the rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands to the east, as well as to places much further afield in western Queensland. Recently recorded ethnographic information supports these conclusions.

Item ID: 27881
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: star motif, map, landscape, interpretation, Chillagoe, Australia
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ISSN: 0813-0426
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2013 02:53
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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