Dating painting events through by-products of ochre processing: Borologa 1 Rockshelter, Kimberley, Australia

Bruno David, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Fiona Petchey, Jillian Huntley, Robert Gunn, Peter Veth, Kim Genuite, Robert J. Skelly, Jerome Mialanes, Sam Harper, Sven Ouzman, Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation, Pauline Heaney, Vanessa Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ‘direct’ dating of rock art has proliferated since the development of accelerator mass
spectrometry radiocarbon, uranium-series and optically stimulated luminescence dating, yet
still, most rock art is not directly datable due to the mineral nature of the constituent pigments.
Here we present another method: the recovery and dating by stratigraphic association
of small buried fragments of ochre and dried paint drops deposited onto soft
sediment surfaces as by-products of paint production and use. These finds also give added
contextual occupational information for archaeology of painting events. The case is made
through the example of Borologa 1, a richly decorated Wanjina rockshelter in the Kimberley
region of northwestern Australia that contains buried hearths, grindstones, earth pigments
and small fallen spalls of rock containing traces of pigment and paint drops. Results from
excavation indicate the beginning of Wanjina motifs and associated painting conventions on
Art Panel B1 sometime between 2,080–1,160 cal BP and their proliferation in the
past millennium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-94
Number of pages38
JournalAustralian Archaeology
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2019

Fingerprint

art
event
proliferation
archaeology
Rock Shelter
Rock Art
Pigments
Ochre
By-products
Mass Spectrometry
Uranium Series
Accelerator
Luminescence Dating
Hearth
Minerals
Constituent
Recovery
Archaeology
Rock
Radiocarbon

Cite this

David, Bruno ; Delannoy, Jean-Jacques ; Petchey, Fiona ; Huntley, Jillian ; Gunn, Robert ; Veth, Peter ; Genuite, Kim ; Skelly, Robert J. ; Mialanes, Jerome ; Harper, Sam ; Ouzman, Sven ; Aboriginal Corporation, Balanggarra ; Heaney, Pauline ; Wong, Vanessa. / Dating painting events through by-products of ochre processing: Borologa 1 Rockshelter, Kimberley, Australia. In: Australian Archaeology. 2019 ; Vol. 85, No. 1. pp. 57-94.
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abstract = "The ‘direct’ dating of rock art has proliferated since the development of accelerator massspectrometry radiocarbon, uranium-series and optically stimulated luminescence dating, yetstill, most rock art is not directly datable due to the mineral nature of the constituent pigments.Here we present another method: the recovery and dating by stratigraphic associationof small buried fragments of ochre and dried paint drops deposited onto softsediment surfaces as by-products of paint production and use. These finds also give addedcontextual occupational information for archaeology of painting events. The case is madethrough the example of Borologa 1, a richly decorated Wanjina rockshelter in the Kimberleyregion of northwestern Australia that contains buried hearths, grindstones, earth pigmentsand small fallen spalls of rock containing traces of pigment and paint drops. Results fromexcavation indicate the beginning of Wanjina motifs and associated painting conventions onArt Panel B1 sometime between 2,080–1,160 cal BP and their proliferation in thepast millennium.",
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author = "Bruno David and Jean-Jacques Delannoy and Fiona Petchey and Jillian Huntley and Robert Gunn and Peter Veth and Kim Genuite and Skelly, {Robert J.} and Jerome Mialanes and Sam Harper and Sven Ouzman and {Aboriginal Corporation}, Balanggarra and Pauline Heaney and Vanessa Wong",
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David, B, Delannoy, J-J, Petchey, F, Huntley, J, Gunn, R, Veth, P, Genuite, K, Skelly, RJ, Mialanes, J, Harper, S, Ouzman, S, Aboriginal Corporation, B, Heaney, P & Wong, V 2019, 'Dating painting events through by-products of ochre processing: Borologa 1 Rockshelter, Kimberley, Australia' Australian Archaeology, vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 57-94. https://doi.org/10.1080/03122417.2019.1603263

Dating painting events through by-products of ochre processing: Borologa 1 Rockshelter, Kimberley, Australia. / David, Bruno; Delannoy, Jean-Jacques ; Petchey, Fiona; Huntley, Jillian; Gunn, Robert ; Veth, Peter; Genuite, Kim; Skelly, Robert J.; Mialanes, Jerome; Harper, Sam; Ouzman, Sven; Aboriginal Corporation, Balanggarra; Heaney, Pauline; Wong, Vanessa.

In: Australian Archaeology, Vol. 85, No. 1, 19.05.2019, p. 57-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Gunn, Robert

AU - Veth, Peter

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AU - Mialanes, Jerome

AU - Harper, Sam

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AU - Heaney, Pauline

AU - Wong, Vanessa

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N2 - The ‘direct’ dating of rock art has proliferated since the development of accelerator massspectrometry radiocarbon, uranium-series and optically stimulated luminescence dating, yetstill, most rock art is not directly datable due to the mineral nature of the constituent pigments.Here we present another method: the recovery and dating by stratigraphic associationof small buried fragments of ochre and dried paint drops deposited onto softsediment surfaces as by-products of paint production and use. These finds also give addedcontextual occupational information for archaeology of painting events. The case is madethrough the example of Borologa 1, a richly decorated Wanjina rockshelter in the Kimberleyregion of northwestern Australia that contains buried hearths, grindstones, earth pigmentsand small fallen spalls of rock containing traces of pigment and paint drops. Results fromexcavation indicate the beginning of Wanjina motifs and associated painting conventions onArt Panel B1 sometime between 2,080–1,160 cal BP and their proliferation in thepast millennium.

AB - The ‘direct’ dating of rock art has proliferated since the development of accelerator massspectrometry radiocarbon, uranium-series and optically stimulated luminescence dating, yetstill, most rock art is not directly datable due to the mineral nature of the constituent pigments.Here we present another method: the recovery and dating by stratigraphic associationof small buried fragments of ochre and dried paint drops deposited onto softsediment surfaces as by-products of paint production and use. These finds also give addedcontextual occupational information for archaeology of painting events. The case is madethrough the example of Borologa 1, a richly decorated Wanjina rockshelter in the Kimberleyregion of northwestern Australia that contains buried hearths, grindstones, earth pigmentsand small fallen spalls of rock containing traces of pigment and paint drops. Results fromexcavation indicate the beginning of Wanjina motifs and associated painting conventions onArt Panel B1 sometime between 2,080–1,160 cal BP and their proliferation in thepast millennium.

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KW - INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS

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