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Jo McDonald, Wendy Reynen, Zane Blunt

Rockshelters are rare across the archipelago. We excavated a small test square here at the request of Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation who were seeking a suitable repository for repatriating human remains.

MAC were looking for a safe dry location that was not a heritage place. Stone artefacts found here demonstrate that this shelter was used in the past.

This rare rockshelter would have offered protection from extreme weather conditions (rain and/or intense heat). It is located close to semi-permanent pool in an adjacent valley. This undated assemblage provides a unique window into a different mode of archipelago site usage, revealing the adaptability of people using this landscape.

This basalt overhang is also unusual as it has engraved tracks on exterior and interior vertical panels. The outside wall of the shelter has echidna tracks heading up from the base.

Inside the shelter we found several three-toed bird tracks and some scratched marks.

A small test square recovered 117 stone artefacts of fine-grained volcanic material and quartz. These artefacts suggest a brief stop for task-specific activities.

While the absolute age of this assemblage is unknown, two distinct layers indicate either multiple site visits or an occupation deposit of considerable age which has undergone paedogenesis.

Murujuga Dynamics of the Dreaming Map

Click on each photo to learn more

Chapter 10 details the excavation results of a rare rock shelter with engraved motifs and occpation evidence on West Lewis Island.

All photographs within this monograph were taken by CRAR+M researchers, partners and students, and have been given cultural approval for publication by Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation. Future use of imagery would require additional permissions from Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and CRAR+M.

© 2022. This work is licensed under a

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