Archaeology of rock art at Dalakngalarr 1, central-west Arnhem Land

Daniel James, Bruno David, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Robert Gunn, Alexandrina Hunt, Ian Moffat, Nadia Iacono, Sean Stephens, Margaret Katherine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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In 2011, we began researching the subsurface archaeology, geomorphology and rock art of Dalakngalarr 1, a moderately sized rockshelter on top of the central-western Arnhem Land plateau in Jawoyn Country. Here, four lines of evidence give relative or absolute ages for rock art:
1. Archaeological excavations adjacent to a boulder that contains a painting of a red macropod reveal when that boulder attained its present position, so the red macropod must have been painted sometime afterwards.
2. Paintings of axe/hoes with metal heads indicate that they were painted during the European contact period. A nearby group of X-ray images are painted in comparable pigments, suggesting that they are contemporaneous with the axe/hoes.
3. Geomorphological evidence suggests that parts of the site’s ceiling collapsed at datable times in the past, indicating that the art on that roof must post-date the roof collapse.
4. Direct accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dates on beeswax art.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia
EditorsBruno David, Paul S.C. Taçon, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Jean-Michel Geneste
Place of PublicationActon, ACT
PublisherANU Press
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9781760461621
ISBN (Print)9781760461614
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameTerra Australis
PublisherANU Press

Bibliographical note

'This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).'


  • Archaeology
  • Rock art
  • Arnhem Land
  • Geophysics


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