Gilberton Explored and Enthralled

23rd November 2014

Warland, JacintaGB01, local name ‘Mushroom Rock’ is a complex of 5 sites with extensive hand stencils and assorted features including motifs, symbols and collective of unique petroglyph panels. The French family knowledge of the sites was handed down from past generations, keeping a promise to the ancestors of the current Ewamian people, to keep the sites safe. The Native Title holders for the area have agreed that the Martel/French families on Gilberton have a legacy of preservation of the sites for future generations. Access to the sites is via a vertical climb of 350m, through a pathway interspersed with evidence of past use. Artefact scatters, mined rock outcrops and scarred trees mark significant places as the path ascends onto the plateau. Approximately 130m into the area, the pathway leads to a complex of several rockshelters. The largest is GB01 ‘Mushroom Rock’. This main site holds multiple panels of hands, from juvenile through to the ‘big man’ hands, with one 1m panel showing no less than 27 individual hand stencils made through the overspray style. The large alcove 3.5m up into the shelter holds the 3.2m length of petroglyphs, with 1cm deep engravings with detailed shaping and unknown symbology. The floor of the shelter is undulating, and has evidence of grinding and alcoves quarried into the wall. An abundance of lithic tools were located through surface investigations. As a result, the archaeological traces preserved in the GB01 site present an unparalleled opportunity to investigate the evidence of past occupation and changing environmental conditions over the past 10,000 years in Ewamian country. Sixty-five metres away from the shelter, a mined outcrop has been located upon a water soak that still produces water at the end of the dry season, which are a part of the complex of 5 sites.

Citation for this poster:

Warland J. and Z. Drake 2014 Gilberton Explored and Enthralled. Poster Presented at the AAA/ASHA Annual Conference, 1-3 December, Cairns.
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