Lecture 4. Tradition and Modernity: Palimpsests and the Arrival of Strangers in the Northern Territory

For at least 20,000 years Aboriginal Groups have occupied the region of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. It contains the largest concentration of rock art in Australia. The painted rock shelters provided places to sleep and protection from the rain. Different types of painting include naturalistic representations and an “x-ray” style that shows outlines and interior anatomical details of people and animals. Some painted surfaces contain layers of imagery that span thousands of years, and in some cases colonial subject matter overlies traditional Aboriginal imagery.

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