Abstract

Indirect dating methods have previously been applied to the rock paintings of north Queensland, utilising patterns of superimposition, depictions of material items and animals of known antiquity, the use of fragile paints such as mud and white kaolinite, and in situ pigment stratigraphies. These patterns suggest that the vast majority of Chillagoe rock paintings are relatively young, likely less than 3500 years old. We directly analysed radiocarbon in the charcoal pigments in several of the Chillagoe rock paintings. Preliminary radiocarbon results at three sites confirm that these charcoal paintings are less than 3500 years old, as predicted. A change in the geographical distribution of rock art styles across north Queensland—from widespread non-figurative forms (as evident in surviving petroglyphs) to regionally distinctive motifs—suggests a regionalisation of artistic conventions starting around 3500 years B.P. Such a regionalisation implies that major cultural changes accompanied the changes in rock painting styles.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Armitage et al., 1998, Rec. Aust. Mus. 50(3): 285–292
Author
R. A. Armitage; B. David; Libbie H. Hyman; M. W. Rowe; C. Tuniz; E. Lawson; G. Jacobsen; Q. Hua
Year
1998
Title
Radiocarbon determinations on Chillagoe rock paintings: small sample accelerator mass spectrometry
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
50
Issue
3
Start Page
285
End Page
292
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.50.1998.1287
Language
English
Date Published
25 November 1998
Cover Date
25 November 1998
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Digitized
11 March 2009
Available Online
16 July 2009
Reference Number
1287
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17863/1287.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17863/1287.pdf
File size: 89kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/17863/1287_complete.pdf
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