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Murujuga: Dynamics of the Dreaming Update 2016

As of December 2016 we are midway through this three year ARC Linkage project. To date the team has:

  • Established research protocols and a research management committee representing all three partners;

  • Consulted and reported to Ngarda Ngarli Elders monthly throughout the project (except during Law times);

  • Built relationships with Aboriginal rangers and staff of the Murujuga Land and Sea Unit, which has supported the field team with cultural guidance and boat transport;

  • Excavated and dated a Pleistocene archaeological deposit in the largest rock shelter known in the Archipelago;

  • Dated the earliest domestic house structure (over 8,000 years old) in Australia on Rosemary island

  • Recorded more than 9000 rock art motifs across the archipelago and excavated eight early to mid-Holocene archaeological deposits on its outermost islands; and

  • found evidence of early American whalers visiting the Archipelago. 

A highlight of 2016 was the visit to UWA by Traditional Owners and MAC Ranger for Research Week (see below). The project received great support also from our Partner Organisation, RTIO, who assisted significantly in logistics and personnel in the field.

Fieldwork begins again in April this year, with further recording work proposed on the outer islands and recording and excavations on the West Lewis historic sites, and excavation of ancient landscapes on our Database and Information Officer Sarah de Koning is planning to be based in Dampier for much of this year, to facilitate database engagement with the Murujuga Rangers team.

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