Two rare shield depictions from the Burrungkuy rock art region of western Arnhem Land, Australia.

John Hayward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Shields were not known to have been made or used in western Arnhem Land, northern Australia, since European contact and possibly as a consequence are rarely found in the rock art of the region. However, during a recent survey of rock art sites in the Burrungkuy region of Kakadu two shields, or shield-like implements, were recorded in one shelter. This paper documents these motifs and discusses the cultural significance of shields in other parts of Australia, including as traded items, and offers suggestions as to how such depictions of these ‘exotic’ implements might have come to be in Arnhem Land. The paper concludes that some shields may have found their way into the Arnhem Land region via the extensive trade and exchange networks that connected communities across the continent for millennia and were depicted as a result of items collected by locals or observed by those involved in the trade.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Archaeology
Early online date10 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Burringkuy
  • Shields
  • ceremony
  • exchange
  • identity
  • trade

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Two rare shield depictions from the Burrungkuy rock art region of western Arnhem Land, Australia.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this