A review of rock art dating in the Kimberley, Western Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Aubert, M. (2012). A review of rock art dating in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39 (3), 573-577.


"This paper critically reviews the various approaches used to estimate the age of the rock art in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. They include: (i) the relative superimposition of styles; (ii) the use of diagnostic subject matter (depictions of extinct animals, stone tool technology, introduced European and Asian objects and animals); (iii) the recovery of a 'painted' slab from a dated archaeological unit; (iv) radiocarbon dating of beeswax figures, charcoal pigments, organic matter in overlying mineral deposits and 'accreted paint layers' (oxalate rich crusts and amorphous silica skin), pollen grains from an overlaying mud-wasp nest; and (v) optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz grains from overlying mud-wasp nests. Future directions for rock art dating in the Kimberley include uranium-series dating of overlying and underlying mineral deposits. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved."



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