The annual CRAR+M Field School was once again both exciting and productive. In conjunction with theMurujugaAboriginal Corporation (MAC) and Rio Tinto archaeologists led by Ken Mulvaney, 12 rock art students and 5 CRAR+M staff spent two weeks on the Burrup Peninsula in relatively cool July weather.
Five recording teams and the MAC Rangers documented more than 1000 rock art panels using iPads (with FilemakeGo and Theodolite apps), sketch forms and cameras. Many of the motifs discovered this year are unique; some might be among the oldest rock art in Australia!
The students’ methodical work serves not only as a springboard for training and continued research on the diverseMurujugarock art province, but it also provides MAC with data for management and protection of their irreplaceable art in Murujuga National Park. The Field School helps with keeping country healthy.
During the field school, a sixth team (Jo McDonald, Peter Veth, Joe Dortch and PhD student Wendy Reynen) worked on the Murujuga rockshelter excavation. All of the undergraduates got experience excavating and sorting finds on this dig.
For most of the students it was the first time they had seen rock art or artefactsin situ. Several individuals noted that the opportunity to experience archaeology in practice working with Indigenous Rangers and meeting the Circle of Elders was both a privilege as well as very rewarding.