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The Maliwawa figures of Arnhem Land
Tuesday 24 November 2020

Following the article published in October - Maliwawa Figures - a previously undescribed rock art style found in Western Arnhem Land, Australia - the authors of the paper on the newly described rock art of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia have provided the link published in the open access journal Australian Archaeology.

Maliwawa Figures rock art style Western Arnhem Land Australia
Large male Maliwawa human figures (left) from an Awunbarna site. The largest male is 1.15 metres wide by 1.95 metres high. P Tacon. Back-to-back Maliwawa macropods (right) in the ‘piano player’ pose, Namuidjbuk. P. Tacon

Maliwawa figures—a previously undescribed Arnhem Land rock art style

Paul S. C. Taçon, Sally K. May, Ronald McKeague, Iain G. Johnston, Andrea Jalandoni, Daryl Wesley, Ines Domingo Sanz, Liam M. Brady, Duncan Wright & Joakim Goldhahn.

Published online: 30 Sep 2020

Abstract

In this paper, a previously undescribed rock art style consisting of large human figures and animals with stroke-line infill is introduced. These depictions have been named Maliwawa Figures. They are primarily found in northwest Arnhem Land and to date have been recorded at 87 sites from Awunbarna (Mount Borradaile area) to the Namunidjbuk clan state of the Wellington Range. There are solitary figures and others arranged in compositions or scenes. We describe the features of this style, its distribution, subject matter and probable age. The results of a detailed analysis of all sites are discussed and a new, refined Arnhem Land rock art chronology is presented. It is concluded that Maliwawa Figures are most likely to date between 6,000 to 9,400 years of age and to be contemporaneous with Northern Running Figures and Yam Figures found at sites to the south.

click here for the paper

Click here for the article

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