Ancient contact in the Pilbara

by Joe Fury
(Newman Western Australia)

Punda ~ petroglyph.

Punda ~ petroglyph.

G'day Adventurers


What is a petroglyph

Petroglyphs are some of the most enduring messages or stories on the face of the earth, geologically the etchings can be in the tens of million years yet modern science/palaeontology can only verify human existence to a point at around 26,300 years ago in the region near the present day town site of Newman, sadly some ancient art sites are under threat from the modern mining process.

It has to be said and hopefully understood, nothing is sacrosanct when it comes to the winning of billions of dollars in revenue and if the resource material is there to be won ~ geology and antiquity get a real belting, but possibly the biggest threat to the Pilbara is apathy!

Suffice to say, there are several magnificent "art sites" throughout the inland Pilbara, relatively untouched by industry, these sites are steeped in cultural significance to our Aboriginal people ~ the people of the land.

As modern day explorers/adventurers we are able to access some of these sites, with little or no restrictions, I trust you have the time and patience to research the area you may intend visiting just to see if there is an ancient link in the form of stone carvings or stencilled art, if you do chance on something along these lines, GPS the site position and as most of us carry a good digital camera these days, take as many images as you can of the subject so the site can be archived ~ you might just be making history with your find, there was a recent discovery and naming of a spider species in the east Pilbara and there are yet unnamed plants and insects out there, could they be waiting for You?

The inland Pilbara is slowly giving up it's long held secrets, because the old people have passed away and story lines have been lost to the modern day people of the land and with the onslaught of the resources boom there are hundreds of "new" people wandering through what was not that long ago, inaccessible remote land.

Past explorers have documented their travels and experiences, much of their journey routes are still viable to this day, with prominent land forms such as mountains, hills, gorges and watercourses aptly named ~ Mount Newman ~ Fortescue River ~ Hamersley Range and Giles Point, just to name a few.

Changing times indeed, yet the ancient petroglyphs still hold their secrets to this day.

Safe travels : Joe Fury

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