Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Aboriginal Stone Structures

A number of stone arrangements have been found in Australia that show remarkable similarity to stone arrangements in Europe, but could be thousands of years older. In Victoria, the Wurdi Youang people built a stone arrangement, that was roughly egg-shaped, and with a diameter of about 50 m. Its major axis is east-west. 3 prominent stones, that are waist high, are at its highest point at the western edge. It has been found that, viewed from these stones, some outlying stones to the west of the main arrangement appear to indicate the setting of the sun at times of equinoxes and solstices. The straight sides of the arrangement have also been found to point to the solstices.

The only prehistoric structures associated with religion that have survived are stone arrangements that are very difficult to date, but it is thought they have been part of Aboriginal culture for a very long time. There are a wide range of stone array types. There are circles, lines, corridors, single standing stones, and piles of stones heaped into cairns. The mythology and significance of these stone arrangements is unknown, to the local Aboriginal People as well as the researchers. Most of the sites haven't been used for an unknown number of years, possibly centuries. The only thing known about them is that they are connected with the Dreamtime stories, representing either totemic beings or enclosed areas where special events took place.

The only stone arrangement dated so far is in the Bay of Fires in northeastern Tasmania where a new arrangement was set up on top of an old one that had been covered by a shell midden and charcoal, it is 750 years old. This only gives a minimum antiquity for this type of prehistoric stone arrangement.

The stone arrangements were observed by the Berndts while many Aboriginal groups were still living in the old tribal way of life.

Sources & Further reading

  1. R. M & C. H. Berndt, The World of the First Australians, Ure Smith Pty Ltd, 1964
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 29/04/2012

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