Aboriginal Australians have the oldest living culture on Earth. This rich and diverse history comes alive in artwork of various forms. The oldest forms of Aboriginal artistic expression are rock carvings, body painting and ground design.
Australia has some of the oldest rock art in the world. The first humans arrived in Australia approximately 65,000 years ago, Australian aboriginal rock art has been dated to around 30,000 years ago and tools that have been found that were used to make the rock art have been dated close to 50,000 years ago.
Rock Art consists of paintings, drawings, engravings, stencils, bas-relief carvings and figures made of beeswax in rock shelters and caves. There are two types Petrographs and Pictographs
Petroglyphs are created by removing rock through pecking, hammering or abrading in order to leave a negative impression.
Pictographs are made by applying pigments to the rock. Using natural elements such as charcoal, clay, chalk and ochre (which can be anything from pale yellow to dark reddish brown). Paintings use wet pigments made from minerals, which are applied by finger or with brushes made from chewed sticks or hair.
Rock art uses imagery to tell the stories from the ceremonies and traditions of the Australian Indigenous people. The global significance of the rock art needs to be more broadly recognised, respected, and celebrated.