Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Wilgie Mia, Weld Range, northern Western Australia

Extensive ochre mining occurred at this site during the late Holocene, at least 1,000 years ago, as well as at Bookartoo, South Australia, and the Campbell Ranges, Northern Territory (Hiscock, 1996; Mulvaney & Kamminga, 1999). There is a 30 m wide open-cut pit that is 20 m deep. Shafts had been excavated to follow seams of red and yellow ochre. The ochre from this site has been found in occupation sites throughout Western Australia, as well as some in Central Australia.

The red ochre was said to be the blood of the giant kangaroo that made its final leap when it was speared by Monong in the Dreamtime. The yellow ochre was its liver and the green ochre its gall.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Phillip J. Habgood & Natilie R. Franklin, The revolution that didn't arrive: A review of Pleistocene Sahul, Journal of Human Evolution, 55, 2008


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 30/09/2011
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