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Survival, Social Cohesion and Rock Art: The Painted Hands of Western Arnhem Land, Australia

May, Sally K.; Taylor, Luke; Frieman, Catherine; Tacon, Paul; Wesley, Daryl; Jones, Tristen; Goldhahn, Joakim; Mungulda, Charlie


This paper explores the complex story of a particular style of rock art in western Arnhem Land known as "Painted Hands". Using new evidence from recent fieldwork, we present a definition for their style, distribution and place in the stylistic chronologies of this region. We argue these motifs played an important cultural role in Aboriginal society during the period of European settlement in the region. We explore the complex messages embedded in the design features of the Painted Hands,...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2020
Type: Journal article
Source: Cambridge Archaeological Journal
DOI: 10.1017/S0959774320000104
Access Rights: Open Access


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