Art and Archaeology of Gariwerd

2014 Humanities Department Seminar Series

Art and Archaeology of Gariwerd

A lecture about the changing 20,000-year relationship between Aboriginal people and Gariwerd (the Grampians).

The rockshelters in Gariwerd include the great majority of Indigenous rock art in Victoria, with a range of paintings, drawings and stencils. These can be arranged into a general sequence showing key changes in style and contents over the last two or three thousand years. These changes reflect different ways in which the sites and the ranges as a whole were used by Aboriginal people.

But the story of how people used the region is far longer and more complex. Archaeological research now demonstrates people were using the ranges at the height of the last Ice Age, some 20,000 years ago, living in a quite different environment.

This lecture will trace the main trends and developments as Aboriginal people adjusted to changes in climate and environment over many thousands of years and the varied role of Gariwerd in the way they used land and resources.


David Frankel is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at La Trobe University. His research interests include Australian Aboriginal archaeology with particular reference to south-eastern Australia.

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