TALK: Friends of the UWA Library Speaker
About the talk
From a scientific perspective, Aboriginal people entered the landmass of Sahul (greater Australia) more than 50,000 years ago and were in the Pilbara region of Western Australia by 42,000 BP. These first settlers left their mark in these artefacts and in abundant rock art. Images etched into the hard rock surfaces of the Pilbara have become an enduring legacy of these pioneers.
Nowhere is this more evident than on the Dampier Archipelago, where possibly at least one million images occur, constituting the densest accumulation of engraved rock art (petroglyphs) in the world. Studies demonstrate that these petroglyphs display a great variety of subjects and styles, documenting changing artistic fashions, embodying cultural, ecological and environmental changes across millennia. These ancient art galleries occur in association with other archaeological features; including artefact scatters, shell middens and stone arrangements, all situated across a landscape that has become an industrial hub for both iron ore and petrochemical industries. There are few places in the world which display a connection of cultural practise across such a vast space and time span, possibly 30,000 years and more. Challenging for the Aboriginal people and academics alike is the protection of such important heritage.
About the speaker
Dr Mulvaney lives in Dampier on the Burrup Peninsula, WA. He is the Principal advisor, Cultural Heritage, at Rio Tinto, which operates the iron ore ports and solar salt fields near Dampier. He is affiliated to the Centre of Rock Art Research and Management at UWA, and is a Partner Investigator on an ARC Linkage Grant. He first came to the Burrup in 1980 when employed by the WA Museum as part of a team recording the Aboriginal heritage of the locations destined for a petrochemical processing plant. Ken's PhD, from the University of New England, established a sequence for the Dampier rock art. Together with the Aboriginal custodians and NGOs he is actively engaged in promoting the heritage values of the place and protection of its rock art. Ken is the previous President of the Australian Rock Art Research Association, having served from 2000 to 2009, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. He is author of many articles on rock art and Aboriginal culture, and his Murujuga Marni, forthcoming from The University of Western Australia Press, will be the first book-length published scientific study of this world significant rock art.
Cost: $5 donation. (Members free)
Dr Ken Mulvaney
Reid Library Ground Floor Meeting Room, UWA. (Doors open 7.00pm - talk commences 7:30pm)
: 6488 2354
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:00
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:00
Susan O'Connor <[email protected]>
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:16
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