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So ends this day: American whalers in Yaburara country, Dampier Archipelago

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2019

Alistair Paterson
Affiliation:
Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia Archaeology, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia
Ross Anderson
Affiliation:
Department of Maritime Archaeology, Western Australian Museum, Cliff Street, Fremantle 6160, Australia
Ken Mulvaney
Affiliation:
Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia Rio Tinto, Dampier, PO Box 842, Karratha 6714, Western Australia
Sarah de Koning
Affiliation:
Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia
Joe Dortch
Affiliation:
Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia
Jo McDonald
Affiliation:
Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia Archaeology, University of Western Australia, M257, Perth 6009, Australia
Corresponding

Abstract

Research to document Aboriginal occupation across the Dampier Archipelago has also encountered the earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of American whalers in North West Australia. Inscriptions in the form of rock engravings made by the crews of the whaling ships Connecticut (1842) and Delta (1849) have been discovered on Rosemary and West Lewis Islands. These maritime inscriptions are uniquely superimposed over earlier Indigenous rock art motifs, appearing to represent distinct mark-making practices by the whalers on encountering an already-inscribed landscape, and thus providing insight into the earliest phases of North West Australia's colonial history.

Type
Research
Information
Antiquity , Volume 93 , Issue 367 , February 2019 , pp. 218 - 235
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2019 

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