Australia’s Indigenous people have inhabited this land for tens of thousands of years. Some say as long as 65,000 years, making it the oldest living cultural history in the world.

This morning I saw Google’s Art Project and browsing through this, I came upon Rock Art. Long before the First Fleet set foot in Australia, Aborigines saw many seafaring folk sailing by and recorded this, amongst most every other detail of life, through rock art.

Below is an extract from an article written by Kathy Marks in the Independent in 2008.

“It also appears to rewrite Australian history, undermining the widely held assumption that the continent was isolated and largely unvisited until the First Fleet arrived in 1788. The paintings suggest that, on the contrary, the people of northern Australia have been interacting with seafaring visitors from Asia and Europe for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years.

A team of scientists on a recent expedition to the Wellington Range recorded 81 images of ships, ranging from the vessels of Macassan traders from Sulawesi (now part of Indonesia) to dugout canoes, 19th-century British tall ships, 20th-century steamers and Japanese pearling luggers. They even found paintings of a luxury cruise ship and a Second World War destroyer.

Twentieth-century rock art is extremely rare anywhere, and the scientists surveying the paintings with the help of a local Aboriginal elder, Ronald Lamilami, say they represent possibly the longest continuous record in the world.”

Thanks to John Benwell for the photo.

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