A world-first survey of more than 250 rock art sites in Western Australia’s Kimberley region has documented more than 30,000 images and will help researchers answer some of the biggest questions about human migration.
The survey began in July and is being run by the University of Western Australia archeology professor Peter Veth, in conjunction with traditional owners the Balanggarra people and the Balanggarra Indigenous rangers.
Over a three-month period the research team recorded the sites in the remote east Kimberley, between the town of Wyndham, more than 1,000km east of Broome and 3,400km north of Perth, and the Northern Territory border.
The sites feature a number of the haunting, elongated human forms known as Gwion figures.
“Most have not been recorded in any meaningful way before – although some important sites, particularly towards the west of the study area, were recorded as early as the 1980s by the first generation of rock art recorders,” Veth told Guardian Australia.