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Prehistoric rock engraving | by JC Merriman
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Prehistoric rock engraving

I discovered this engraving as a student and checked up on it recently. The hand sized circle is carved into the sandstone bedrock under a layer of rotting leaves on the cliff edge at Katoomba. After trying some ordinary shots for about half an hour, the late afternoon sun slanted through the cloud for a few seconds and revealed it in relief.


The Gundungurra people occupied this part of the Blue Mountains in the recent past and it may date from that period of more intense use beginning around 3-4,000 year ago, or from the end of the last ice age around 10,000 years before present when regular seasonal use appears in the archaeological record or even from a period of earlier intermittent occupation around 22,000 years BP.


It was made with a stone tool by first pecking a series of holes and then joining them up, you can see a small remaining section of the left. It is one of only two known circular stone engravings in the Blue Mountains and like many religious objects its simple form belies its deeply sacred nature.

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Taken on September 9, 2007