Dramatic find: Bryce Barker from the University of Southern Queensland investigating the Aboriginal rock art in a cave in the Australian outback which features erotic drawings
Aboriginal Art Directory | 20.06.12
Author: Lawrence Conway
News source: British Daily Mail
Here's an unsual take on the recent discovery of ancient rock art, reproduced here in full.
Aboriginal erotic rock art proves that – even 28,000 years ago – men had ONE thing on their minds
But, as these Australian cave paintings show, it's certainly not a modern thing for an artist to use his skills to portray sex and pornography.
The series of drawings found on the roof of caves in the inaccessible wilderness in Arnhem Land, in the country's north, clearly shows a couple having sex.
Other sections of the wide-ranging artwork in white and red shows other figures engaged in some form of prehistoric porn.
Archeologist Bryce Barker, a professor at the University of Southern Queensland, said - irrespective of the rather racy subject matter above - its what he and his team has been finding underneath the erotic art that ranked among rock art sites such as France's Chauvet caves, dated at older than 30,000 years, and caves in northern Spain now thought to be 40,000 years old.
One section of artwork they have excavated, a stone with patterns drawn in charcoal, has been dated to 28,000 years old - making it one of the oldest artworks in the world.
Mr Barker said: 'One of the things that makes this little fragment of art unique is that it is drawn in charcoal... which means we could directly date it. The fact remains that any rock art that is older than 20,000 years is very unique around the world.
'It is amongst some of the oldest art in the world. And we're convinced that we'll find older and the reason is that the site this comes from, we know that Aboriginal people started using this site 45,000 years ago.'
The find was made at a massive rock shelter named Narwala Gabarnmang, which is covered on its ceiling and pillars with rock art, and only accessible by a 90-minute helicopter journey from the outback town of Katherine.
Archaeologists were first taken to the site five years ago by its Aboriginal custodians, the Jawoyn, who wanted to preserve the art and at the same time unlock some of the secrets of its history.
Mr Barker said: 'We've only excavated a tiny fraction of the site and we expect there will be art older than 28,000 years in the site.'
He added that the fragment, which likely fell from the rock's ceiling shortly after it was drawn and therefore preserved in the soil, could have been part of a human figure drawn in action, such as throwing a spear.
Aboriginal rock art is dotted throughout the vast nation, much of it undocumented, and some have speculated that the images could date back 45,000 years.
Window on the past: Aboriginal rock art discovered in the Australian outback by archaeologists was made 28,000 years about, shows artistic interests and subjects haven't changed that much over the years
Fragment: A piece Aboriginal rock art on granite in a plastic bag that was tested and found to have been made 28,000 years ago, making it the oldest in Australia and among the oldest in the world