Closing the Distance: Interpreting Cross-Cultural Engagements Through Indigenous Rock Art

Anne Clarke, Ursula Frederick

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


An important and often implicit principle underpinning many contemporary interpretations in Australian archaeology is the recognition of the strength and intimacy of the attachment of Indigenous people to their land. The archaeological signatures of these ties to landscape are made tangible through the imprint of Indigenous actions on the ground through both secular and sacred activities.These relationships to land, and the associated social, moral, and spiritual geographies they shape, also incorporate the non-terrestrial environment of the sea. Seascapes, including currents, the motions of the waves, freshwater outflows from rivers, offshore islands and reefs, intertidal zones and marine life, are all places of belonging and becoming (Bradley 1998; Buku Larrngay Mulka 1999; McNiven 2004; McNiven and Feldman 2003; D. Rose 1996; N. Sharp 2002; Smyth 2001).The significance of this “saltwater country” to Indigenous people in both past and present is increasingly evident to archaeologists and anthropologists, particularly through recent research concerning systems of marine tenure (Meyers et al. 1996; Peterson and Rigsby 1998; Sharp 2002)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeology of Oceania
Subtitle of host publicationAustralia and the Pacific Islands
EditorsIan Lilley
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780470773475
ISBN (Print)9780631230823
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Closing the Distance: Interpreting Cross-Cultural Engagements Through Indigenous Rock Art'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this