While landscape painting is a popular subject matter of contemporary Australian aboriginal art, the artworks of the first nations are stories engraved on rocks. Modern aboriginal artists simply transferred on canvas the icons and symbols used by early indigenous Australian artists who used a variety of media. In addition to engraving on rocks and stone surfaces, ancient aboriginal art dating as far back as 28,000 years ago included etching in cave walls to depict animals like dingoes, kangaroos and some seemingly extinct species.
Another impressive example of ancient Australian art are the circles and dots that have been preserved in the sand for thousands of years. In 1971, the dots and circles style was revived by modern aboriginal artists using canvas instead. However, the dots and circles are believed to have secret meanings as they were used in sacred rituals. To assuage fears that rival regions and non-indigenous folks will not unravel spiritual secret knowledge, modern aboriginal artists disguised the designs by using double-dotted images.
A Closer Look At the Rock Art of Australia’s First Aborigines
Rock Art is the most ancient form of art practiced by Australia’s first aborigines. They were groups of people originating from Torres Strait Islands who already had their own beliefs, practices, language and culture before the British colonists arrived. Reference to Rock Art here includes engraving, drawing, painting, stenciling and carving not only in caves but also on rock fragments, sandstones and sedimentary rocks. Similar paintings depicting mostly animals were found in caves across different regions.
In Murujuga Island located in the western region, the most renowned and celebrated Rock Art is a collection of petroglyphs. These are images that were carved out of rocks by first removing the rock surface before they were chiselled and hammered.
How Years of Rocks and Sedimentary Deposits Have Affected Australia’s Landscape
Greater knowledge about the age of rocks and other sedimentary materials in Australia’s landscape, also paved the way for the development of solutions in making the surface soils more productive and stable. Scientists who conducted studies about the oldest known rocks in the world found out that Australia’s geological features are one of the world’s most ancient; dating as far back as 3000 million years ago ŵhen rocks had started forming about 4031 million years ago.
However, since sedimentary rocks are the main composition of soils, they are more common as geographical surfaces. Australia’s geographical topography poses problems not only in agriculture but also in building constructions. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for advancements in technology to arrive to provide solutions. Readers can find out more information about such solutions in some construction websites.