Histories of rock art research in Western Australia’s Kimberley, 1838–2000

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This article frames the history of rock art research in the Kimberley in north-western Australia through four tropes of colonialism. We distinguish three phases of research, starting with ‘Explorers and colonisers’ from 1838 to the early 1900s, followed by the move ‘Towards an Indigenous understanding of Australian rock art’ that derived from early missionary and ethnographic studies conducted during the first half of the twentieth century up to 1960, before developing into ‘Diverging fields of rock art research’ from the 1960s. We conclude our discussion around the year 2000 but refer to current research topics and discourses when apposite.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistories of Australian Rock Art Research
EditorsPaul S.C. Taçon, Sally K. May, Jo McDonald, Ursula Fredricks
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherANU Press
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameTerra Australis
PublisherANU Press


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