Like all of Australia, Wollemi National Park, within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area of New South Wales, has long been a dynamic place inscribed with story, imagery and spirituality for Aboriginal Australians. In 2001, The Landscape of Blue Mountain Rock Art research project began to investigate this. Since then, this Griffith University – Blue Mountains Aboriginal Community – Australian Museum project has located over 200 rock art sites in Wollemi National Park, consisting of drawings, stencils, engravings and some paintings.
Two of the largest, best preserved and spiritually significant sites are Eagle’s Reach, a sandstone rock shelter with drawings and stencils, and Gallery Rock, an engraved rock platform. Although images were made using very different techniques there are many common subjects and stylistic features between the sites. For contemporary Aboriginal people of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area these two sites are highly significant as cultural places that are focal points within larger cultural landscapes.
From the beginning this has been a highly collaborative project, with all aspects jointly managed and conducted by individuals of both the Aboriginal and archaeological communities, from initial survey to recording, to analysis and publication. The project aims to better understand the relationship between the cultural heritage, especially rock art sites, of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and that of other parts of New South Wales and to describe culture change in Wollemi National Park over the past few thousand years. Research involves extensive ongoing community consultation and participation. Fieldwork is concentrated in the southern half of Wollemi National Park, within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
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