Summary: A series of Aboriginal engraving sites along a ridge of rock extending from the Waratah Track across West Head Road,

Fred MCarthy documented a series of Aboriginal engraving sites along a “crescentic ridge of rock” which extends for about 400m, which he collectively referred to as the “Arden Trig Station” group. Some of these had earlier been documented by W.D. Campbell, who (according to McCarthy) “recorded what he apparently selected as the most interesting figures at this site, and ignored the remainder”.

Site sketch of Arden Trig Aboriginal engravings
Man and Wife Pair of Men Echidnas Wallaby Shield and Boomerang Man Fish Axe Grinding Grooves Hooked Fish Sword Club Fish Posterior of Fish Club Pothole

Man and Wife

AWAT5558 LR highlighted Arden Trig Station engravings

standing next to each other: the man is 6' tall with a sword club across his waist while the woman is 4' tall.

Pair of Men

AWAT5824 highlighted Arden Trig Station engravings

Two men, described as a "pair of unusual figures". Both are wearing girdles, one has arm-bands and the penis on both figures is pointing upwards

Echidnas

AWAT1798 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

A pair of male and female echidnas in file.

Wallaby

AWAT5569 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

A leaping wallaby in the middle of the platform, which is very weathered.

Shield and Boomerang

IMG 4612 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

A clearly defined shield with line design and dotted decoration all over its surface, and a (returning) boomerang.

Man

AWAT5835 LR highlighted Arden Trig Station engravings

A man in an "active pose"

Fish

AWAT5849 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

Bream-like fish (above man)

Axe Grinding Grooves

AWAT5827 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

Six parallel axe grinding grooves

Hooked Fish

AWAT0151 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

A bream-like fish, with a long, conical head, and a hook inside its body.

Sword Club

AWAT0248 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

Sword Club

Fish

AWAT0245 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

A fish with a long, pointed head.

Posterior of Fish

AWAT2823 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

Club

AWAT2837 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

Pothole

AWAT2812 LR Arden Trig Station engravings

One of two potholes with a grooved channel, which match the description.

Series 1 (Fig 8A) – Club and Fish

A sword club and fish; these two figures have not yet been re-located. The rock platform where they are located has vegetation encroaching from all sides, as well as from a large waterhole in the middle. It is likely that these two figures are been covered by moss.

Series 2 (Fig 8B) – Club and AGGs

A small site in the middle of a long rock platform, which has six axe grinding grooves (AGGs) next to a waterhole. Nearby are engravings of a club, the posterior part of an echidna and the tail end of a fish.

Series 3 (Fig 8C) – Man and Fish

A group of figures representing a man with fish which are his totem (or which he hopes to catch). In this group there are a total of five fish (some hidden under leaf litter) as well as the man, an incomplete figure and and indeterminate elongate figure.

Series 4 (Fig 8D) – Pothole, Shield and Fish

A pothole with a “line engraved around three sides” was doccumented; there are two waterholes that both feature a channel around them, on a long and steep ledge.

A shield and “poorly shaped fish” engraving are a bit further along the ledge (but covered by vegetation), and there are also two axe grinding grooves not mentioned by McCarthy.

Series 5 (Fig 8E) – Men

Two men, described as a “pair of unusual figures”. Both are wearing girdles, one has arm-bands and the penis on both figures is pointing upwards

Series 6 (Fig 8F) – Man and Wife

A man and wife standing next to each other: the man is 6′ tall with a sword club across his waist while the woman is 4′ tall.

Series 7 (Fig 8G) – Sword Club and Fish

A sword club, and a fish, which has a long, pointed head.

Series 8 (Fig 8H) – Echidnas and Roo

A pair of male and female echidnas in file. Near the echidnas is a very weathered wallaby or kangaroo.

Series 9 (Fig 8I) – Hooked Fish

A bream-like fish, with a long, conical head – and a hook inside its body.

Series 10 (Fig 8J) – Shield and Boomerang

A clearly defined shield with line design and dotted decoration all over its surface, and a (returning) boomerang.

Series 11 (Fig 8K) – Sword Club

A sword club, which has not been re-located.

Summary of Arden Trig Aboriginal engraving sites

Site NameReferenceNo. MotifsMotifsAHIMS ID
Club and FishMcCarthy Group 48 S12Club, fish
Club and AGGsMcCarthy Group 48 S23Club, AGGs45-6-4032
Man and FishMcCarthy Group 48 S3
Campbell Plate 19 Fig 11
8Man, fish45-6-4031
Pothole, Shield & FishMcCarthy Group 48 S43Shield, fish
MenMcCarthy Group 48 S52Man45-6-0050
Man and WifeMankind Group 48 S6
Campbell Plate 19 Fig 9
3Man, woman45-6-0045
Sword club, fishMcCarthy Group 48 S7
Campbell Plate 19 Fig 9
2Club, fishTBC
Echidnas and RooMcCarthy Group 48 S83Wallaby, echidna45-6-0835
Hooked FishMcCarthy Group 48 S9
Campbell Plate 19 Fig 9
1FishTBC
Shield and BoomerangMcCarthy Group 48 S105Shield, boomerang45-6-0051
ClubMcCarthy Group 48 S111Sword club

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