Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How Old is Original Human Civilization?


holdmyark |  Located in south-western Arnhem land Australia is a stone monument that was created by the aboriginal Australians 50,000 years ago. A part of Jawoyn country, Nawarla Gabarnmung is an incredible example of engineering a rock shelter not seen elsewhere at this period of time in ancient history. Meaning, “hole in the rock”, “passageway”, or “valley open from the centre” by the Jawoyn people, Nawarla Gabarnmung is a sacred and protected site. Jawoyn Elder, Margaret Katherine, has the responsibility of safe guarding this very special place today. The Jawoyn people have only allowed ‘Gabarnmung’ to be studied in recent years. Margaret explains how sharing knowledge with blackfullas, and whitefullas is important.

The work completed at Gabarnmung by these ancient engineers may not have required the precise mathematics to build a great pyramid, but still valued math and the intelligent knowledge of working with stone for a great length of time. The shelter was constructed by tunneling into a naturally eroded cliff face. The roof is 1.75m to 2.45m above floor level, supported by 50 pillars created by the natural erosion of fissure lines in the bedrock. 36 pillars were painted. Some pre-existing pillars were removed, some were reshaped and some moved to new positions. In some areas ceiling slabs were removed and repainted by the ancient Jawoyn people who used the shelter.

This [hole in the wall] ‘monument’ contains a historical gallery of rock art and some of the oldest full paintings in the world. Also a historical recording of human history like many other sites in the Arnhem Land area of Australia. The Artwork at Gabarnmung rivals the paintings found in France and Spain. Noting that most dates for Rock Art are questionable, so are those greater dates now suggested for France and Spain[65,000 years]

The significance of the Gabarnmung rock art is in the amazing detail. These mystifying and intriguing images demonstrate the experience of the Jawoyn Artists. The people and culture still being here today to help tell the story is what makes the works of art much more alive. The many examples found in rock painting across Australia over the past 200 years explains how the Original people have been painting since the earliest times in human History. A few years ago Smithsonian wrote an article making these comparisons of Gabarnmung:
If science can offer something to the Jawoyn, the Jawoyn have something to offer science. “We don’t have anyone to explain Chauvet Cave to us. In France, these are sites with no memory, no life. With Gabarnmung, we are lucky. There is the living culture, the memories. The Jawoyn can help us build a new knowledge.” Jean-Michel Geneste
“ Like the Sistine Chapel, the ceiling of the expansive rock shelter was a mural of breathtakingly vivid and bold works of art – hundreds of them. And the paintings extended up and down 36 remarkable sandstone columns that, like the pillars of a temple, appeared to support the cave”