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Murujuga National Park Rock Art

Segment: Murujuga National Park Rock Art
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
TX Date: 13th January 2019

Otherwise known as the Burrup Peninsula, Murujuga National Park is home to one of the nation’s greatest art galleries and is a must visit for anyone interested in art or culture.

  • While Murujuga National Park is now right on the edge of the Indian Ocean, it wasn’t always this way – during the Ice Age it was around 100km from the ocean’s edge. People have been living in this area for thousands of years, carving well over a million petroglyphs into the rocks.
  • The park is run by the Murujuga rangers, the traditional custodians of the land. They offer an insightful interpretive tour of the area – it contains one of the densest concentrations of rock engravings in Australia, with some sites containing thousands of images, artefacts and ceremonial and mythological sites.
  • The mineral rich rock is incredibly hard. The people carving the images would have struggled through the heat, carving the images in incredible detail.
  • A lot of the art was carved by those who lived in the area, such as the Yaburra and Mardudhunera people.
  • Aboriginal people don’t have a written history, although they do have a verbal history. These petroglyphs are one of the only forms of written history, with people recording things such as animals, their day to day activities and ceremonies.
  • While a lot of people think that these rock formations are man-made, this is not the case. These rocks are so mineral rich that they start cracking once it gets cold, forming the huge piles of rock chunks.