In an earlier article, we talked about rocks having “purpose,” finding enough evidence to support the claim. Since then more exploration has discovered, perhaps, that their most important purpose has been their role as the recording medium to reveal the story of cultures. Tasmania has rocks containing petroglyphs that were created over 40,000 years ago. The same is true of Uluru—the “Heart and Soul of Australia”—where culture is depicted in many ways, showing us, with symbols through rock art, how the culture evolved over time.
These are symbols painted on rock. Most recent of the lot, in spite of their economy of line, are immediately recognizable and bring to mind fabric art borders.
Figurative motifs adorn Uluru and hold their mystery to the present day, unless you’re an aborigine and male, at that. These are from some of the most ancient and seem to reflect a sort of free-form what the indigenous people refer to as the “Dream Time.”
But this one, hidden on the inside of a crevasse, is most interesting as it features what looks like an ornamental frieze on its surface. Your designer’s eye wants to create a fortress or monastery on top of a mountain range.
Again, Uluru draws the eyes to symbols on the side of the great beast, at sunset, when the brilliance of the sun creates shadows deep enough to reveal them. It turns out that these shapes are aboriginal cues, mapped onto the rock, that tell the story of the snake ancestor and her eggs.
Serving the idea that the eye sees the purpose before the ear hears the word, one tourist describes them as “barely more than a classroom blackboard, really, with a jumble of signs and symbols used to aid in passing on the oral tradition.” It seems inevitable—and disturbing—that time and erosion will eventually destroy them. A discreet coating of something, even though an invasion of a historic site might be enough to preserve them. But then, the aborigine might say that perhaps time wills the disappearance of something no longer useful.
Discovered in a rock overhang, somewhere along a track between Lake Neale and Lake Amadeus this is one of several pictographs, with no one around to translate. The double lines are fascinating as if to indicate that the figure is encompassed by a halo that doesn’t seem to appear anywhere else.
Representatives of a culture, scratched or chiseled into the rock, often sacred in some manner. The oldest ones in Tasmania are evidence of the southernmost site of human life, dating from 45,000 to 65,000 BP.
And here we see drawings of what some like to title “aliens,” but called Wondjina (or Wandjina) by the aborigine. They were the “cloud and rain gods who, during the Dream Time, created or influenced the landscape and its inhabitants.
When they found the place they would die, they painted their images on cave walls and entered a nearby waterhole.” How compelling is this kind of imagination? The drawing style is so nice; it makes you want to try it, yes? More on this here: http://www.crystalinks.com/auspetroglyphs.html
We’ll close with another example of an “alien” life form, as seen in this little figurine—a mystery, to be sure, because both were created long before the aborigine had worn clothing of any sort, much less having seen a human in clothing.