13.05.2012 - 15.05.2012 32 °C
The area around Mitchell River and King Edward River is a treasure cove of ancient Aboriginal rock art typical of the Kimberley area. We saw four different styles at the three sites we visited, two close to Merten Falls and the other one close to the King Edward River crossing. This ancient rock art is evidence of occupation of the area by humans over tens of thousands of years. The Irregular Infill Paintings of humans and animals are estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 years old. The Gwion (also known as Bradshaw) art depicts humans in ceremonial garb and is scientifically dated with Optically Stimulated Luminescence to be at least 17,000 years old. There were also a few Clawed Hand Paintings which is estimated around 7,000 years old. The most recent paintings are the Wandjina Paintings which depicts deities with headdress and halos, no nose and a large nose and eyes, and is considered to be less than 1,000 years old. Of all the rock art styles, the Gwion (Bradshaw) is the most well-known from the Kimberley area with Wandjina also being a Kimberley style.