Kakadu National Park, Australia
Aboriginal Rock Art Within Kakadu National Park, we first viewed the Ubirr site, which had paintings as old as 20,000 years, although most were around 2000 years old. There were pictures of wallabies, possums, goannas, tortoises and fish, showing internal organs in an x-ray style. A few images were for the benefit of children, pictures with stories behind them, teaching them the wrongs and rights of life. The ‘Creation Spirits’ that we’d seen at other sites like Ayers Rock were also here – the ‘Rainbow Serpent’ that would be destructive if disturbed. Sounded like fairy tales to me but the Aboriginals strongly believed in spirits who visited different areas, painting images of themselves as they went past. The puzzling thing was that there were pictures of distorted humans high up on the ceiling of a cave. How did anyone reach all the way up there? Also we saw the odd white man, hands on hips, big boots, sometimes smoking a pipe or with a gun…obviously done in this century. We went to a second rock art site at Nourlangie where the ‘Lightening Man’, with wife and ‘grasshopper’ children were drawn. An area nearby was used as a shelter for the last 20,000 years. Archaelogical evidence of tools, weapons and woven items dating back to at least 6000 years were found in abundance. In the surrounding area, more primative tools and even skeletons were found. It is now believed that Aboriginal people lived in Australia for at least 50,000 years abnd probably more. To think that most Western history concerns only the last 2000 years, the last ice-age was 25,000 years ago, and there’s proof of Aboriginis 50,000 years ago, living in almost the same way as they do now!