Collaborative rock art research in the Kaurareg Archipelago, south-western Torres Strait, has systematically documented an assemblage consisting of 232 rock paintings from three islands. Using computer enhancement techniques, analysis of Kaurareg rock art has revealed a dataset that incorporates artistic influences from both Cape York and other western Torres Strait islands. Initial archaeological surveys have also revealed a lack of the distinctive Torres Strait ritual sites (e.g. dugong bone mounds and bu shell arrangements) already noted from the broader region. Using these preliminary data, we evaluate Kaurareg cultural history in the context of inter-regional interaction, and recent discoveries in Torres Strait archaeology. We conclude that the Kaurareg's geographical location - off the tip of Cape York - was the central transition zone between cultural influences from Aboriginal Australia and Island Melanesia.
|Issue number||December 2007|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|