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Kimberley Visions Update 2017

Kimberley Visions completed its second year of fieldwork, with two large campaigns on the Drysdale River and King George River. Smaller teams worked closely with the Balanggarra Rangers and Traditional Owners with joint fieldwork undertaken for a Fire Walk, and coastal survey with a men’s and women’s trip out of Honeymoon Bay, east of Kalumburu. 2017 also saw the arrival of two new PhD students on the project, Ana Motta (Argentina) and Marine Benoit (France).

On the Drysdale River (over four weeks) the Visions team surveyed, excavated, undertook saturation recording, presented at the Kalumburu bush school, and hosted a group of female Traditional Owners. The team comprised researchers from UWA, Monash, La Trobe, Universite de Savoie, and independent researchers Joc Schmiechen and Darryl Lewis.  Fieldwork was coordinated with the Kimberley Dating team. This survey built on the result from 2016, with 98 new sites relocated, and saturation recording targeted at clustered complexes of rock art galleries. Exploratory excavation was undertaken at two rock art sites located near the main camp, as well as at Minjiwarra (formally known as Big Red). Excavation continued at Wanjina Rock, continuing archaeomorphological approaches, and 3D laser scanning of the complex of sites found there.

Over three weeks at King George the Visions team built upon the extensive 2016 survey work, with 233 new sites relocated during survey.  Saturation recording targeted 50 sites, and we excavated  an open site/pigment source. Survey uncovered some incredibly rich rock art complexes, particularly large Wanjina sites.  These occur well to the east of previously understood stylistic boundaries. The Kimberley Dating team joined Visions here, undertaking further Uranium series and mudwasp nest samples on and off the art.

Exciting announcement in the latest ARC grant rounds with a second Kimberley Dating project with CRAR+M's Sven Ouzman and Peter Veth working with the University of Melbourne team.

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