Summary: The area around Lyre Trig has over twenty Aboriginal engraving sites, many recorded by Campbell, Sim and McCarthy amd some containing unusual carvings.

The area around the Lyre Trig in Kariong has numerous Aboriginal engraving sites. Most were documented by Campbell, Sim and McCarthy, although a few have been recorded fairly recently – and some are no doubt yet to be “re-discovered”.

Lyre Trig Sacred Site

Perhaps the most significant site is the Lyre Trig Sacred Site, also called the “Point Clare site” as its location was originally described by Campbell in relation to the Point Clare railway station. It has 61 motifs, including “interesting and rare figures”.

Lyre Trig Sacred Site
Man with Fish or Seal Shark or Whale Mundoe Kangaroo and Fish Oval Fish Eel and Fish Eel Fish Eel Axe Grinding Grooves Fish with Eggs Dolphin or Whale Man with Boomerang Fish

Man with Fish or Seal

AWAT5246 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Man with outstretched arms. Touching the man is a fish or seal.

Shark or Whale

AWAT5333 LR highlighted Lyre Trig engraving sites

A whale or shark: it is nine feet in length, with two fins and two bars across it's body. It's holding a fish in its mouth, of which only the tail end is projecting.

Mundoe

AWAT5314 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Kangaroo and Fish

AWAT5248 LR highlighted Lyre Trig engraving sites

A "poorly shaped" kangaroo, with very broad body and posed either standing or leaping. Overlapping the kangaroo are three fish and a gnarl container.

Oval

AWAT5259 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Oval with two sets of lines (which also looks like a stingray).

Fish

AWAT5262 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Fish (5' 7" long) with long oval body, pointed head and two fins (dorsal and ventral). A "narrow elliptical figure" is attached to its head, but covered by vegetation.

Eel and Fish

AWAT5275 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Eel (6' 3" long) with no eyes and fish with broad oval body.

Eel

AWAT5279 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Eel (4' 6" long) with no eyes

Fish

AWAT5286 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Fish (4'  long) with long pointed head, four dorsal fins and three central fins.

Eel

AWAT5297 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Fat bodied eel (4' 6" long). No eyes.

Axe Grinding Grooves

Axe Grinding Grooves around a small waterhole

Fish with Eggs

AWAT5301 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Narrow fish (2' 3" long) with one fin neat large tail. Below the fish is a circle of nine pits "which may represent a clutch of eggs".

Dolphin or Whale

AWAT5310 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Dolphin or whale (11' long) - it was originally described as a whale). Conical head, two eyes, 2 representing those on the lower jaw of a whale, one long dorsal, pair of pointed teats on ventral surface and Wide tail.

Man with Boomerang

AWAT5257 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Man (5' 9" tall) with half-oval head, no eyes or neck, right arm straight out and left arm upraised. He is holding a returning boomerang in his right hand and a sword club in his left half. Across his waist belt are two more boomerangs.

Fish

AWAT5315 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Fish (2' 3" long) with pointed head

The unusual engravings include a man with half-oval head and outspread arms, who is touching a fish or eal, and a second man who is holding a returning boomerang in his left hand and a sword club in his , and in his right hand.

Sim Group 166

Ian Sim described a series of eleven engraving sites across a series of ledges below the Lyre Trig.

Lyre Trig Sim Series
Fish (Series 11) Tall Man (Series 10) Man or Emu Spirit (Series 10) Shark or Marine Creature (Series 4) Snakes (Series 4) Indeterminate Figure (Series 4) Wallaby (Series 6)

Fish (Series 11)

AWAT5235 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

A fish, with "pointed head, oval body, two eyes, two fins opposite one another one of which is attached to the outline, good tail at angle to body, as if swimming".

Tall Man (Series 10)

AWAT5355 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Tall man with "half oval head, no eyes or neck, straight arms slightly upraised".

Man or Emu Spirit (Series 10)

AWAT5371 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

A "composite emu spirit figure of the Daramulan type" according to McCarthy and oiginally described as a man by Ian Sim. The figure is carved in profile, with a convex head, truncated or open beak, no eyes and a leg bent downward at a right angle close to its body.

Shark or Marine Creature (Series 4)

AWAT5414 LR highlighted Lyre Trig engraving sites

A shark (Ian Sim) or "marine creature" (Fred McCarthy), with a broad conical head, a pair of conical fins near its head and a round ended dorsal fin. Within the figure is an oval and two mundoes.

Snakes (Series 4)

AWAT5422 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

A snake, with "pointed ends curved outward in opposite directions".

Indeterminate Figure (Series 4)

AWAT5423 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

An indeterminate figure, described as having two ovals (which could be fins or flippers) attached to the junction of its body and tail, and a long elongated body.

Wallaby (Series 6)

A weathed wallaby below the Lyre Trig: it has a "comical face, no eyes, 2 pointed ears, broad neck, broad body with hump over hind quarters... standing with body parallel with the ground as though feeding".

Lyre Trig Shark (S4)

An interesting site with 14 figures, including a shark, later described as a “marine creature”, which has an oval and two mundoes within its body, and a bird above its head. Below the shark / marine creature is an indeterminate figure. Also at this site are three more ovals and a snake.

Lyre Trig Wallaby (S6)

A very weathered engraving of a wallaby, “standing with body parallel with the ground as though feeding”.

AWAT5434 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites
Lyre Trig Fish Emu Spirit (S10)

A figure described by McCarthy as a “composite emu spirit figure of the Daramulan type”, which is carved in profile with a convex head. Near this figure is a man, with outstretched arms.

Lyre Trig Fish engraving (S11)

A single fish, drawn as if it were swimming.

AWAT5235 LR Lyre Trig engraving sites

Site NameReferenceNo. MotifsMotifsAHIMS ID
Lyre Trig Sacred SiteCampbell Plate 27 Fig 161Men, fish, eel, shark45-3-0062
Lyre Trig Fish and OvalSim Group 166 S12Fish, oval45-3-0506
Lyre Trig DolphinSim Group 166 S27Dolphin, roos, emu45-3-0498
Lyre Trig FlatheadSim Group 166 S31Fish45-6-0505
Lyre Trig SharkSim Group 166 S414Shark, bird, snake45-3-0497
Lyre Trig Two MenSim Group 166 S52Men (2)45-3-0503
Lyre Trig WallabySim Group 166 S61Wallaby45-3-0502
Lyre Trig ShieldSim Group 166 S71Shield45-3-0501
Lyre Trig Eel and BirdSim Group 166 S83Eel, bird45-3-0499
Lyre Trig EmuSim Group 166 S91Unfinished emu45-3-0499
Lyre Trig Emu SpiritSim Group 166 S102Man, Emu Spirit45-3-0486
Lyre Trig FishSim Group 166 S111Fish45-3-0487
Lyre Trig KangarooCampbell Plate 27 Fig 81Kangaroo45-3-0477
Lyre Trig Two Wallabies2Two wallabies45-3-4621

Lyre Trig engraving sites - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

Yengo National Park was an important spiritual and cultural place for the Darkinjung and Wonnarua People for thousands of years, and 640 Aboriginal cultural sites are recorded in the park and nearby areas.
Over 40 sites have been recorded within the park; many were located along the river bank and were flooded by the building of the weir in 1938.
Located to the north-west of Sydney, just south of the Dharug and Yengo National Parks, Maroota has a high concentration of (known) Aboriginal sites. Many more Aboriginal heritage sites are located in the Marramarra National Park. The original inhabitants of the area were the Darug people.
There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
Many sites Aboriginal engraving sites across the inner suburbs of Sydney have been destroyed or are very weatheredl. The sites which remain are isolated from their natural environment.
Over a hundred Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the Hornsby region, with many of these in the Berowra Valley National Park and around the suburb of Berowra.
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