Early Australian Anthropomorphs: Jabiluka's Dynamic Figure Rock Paintings

Sally K. May, Iain G. Johnston, Paul S.C. Taçon, Inés Domingo Sanz, Joakim Goldhahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Early depictions of anthropomorphs in rock art provide unique insights into life during the deep past. This includes human engagements with the environment, socio-cultural practices, gender and uses of material culture. In Australia, the Dynamic Figure rock paintings of Arnhem Land are recognized as the earliest style in the region where humans are explicitly depicted. Important questions, such as the nature and significance of body adornment in rock art and society, can be explored, given the detailed nature of the human figurative art and the sheer number of scenes depicted. In this paper, we make a case for Dynamic Figure rock art having some of the earliest and most extensive depictions of complex anthropomorph scenes found anywhere in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


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