In 2016 we completed our first field season of this five year ARC Linkage project. Between July and September the team, with additional volunteers, spent approximately one month in each of our target catchments where the following work was completed:
Drysdale River – 30 rock art sites recorded, two excavations;
King George River – 195 rock art sites recorded, two excavations; and
Forrest River – 25 rock art sites recorded, two excavations.
Our fieldwork has established a number of interesting initial findings, including three phases of occupation (potentially coupled with art production), different art production and style repertoires in the three catchments, connections between the monsoon onset and Gwion production, intensive site use associated with Wanjina art in the last 3000 years, and territorial expansion around 1000 years ago. Unique stone artefact assemblages have been recovered within dated deposits, particularly crystals in association with rock art sites. These patterns will be teased out in upcoming field seasons.