Seventeen Aboriginal sites located and around Mount Murray Anderson. They include multiple deity figures, two enormous whales and some stone arrangements.

Mount Murray Anderson may have been a sacred area for the Darramuragal Aboriginal people, for it has thirteen Aboriginal engraving sites scattered across many large rock platforms. The sites include stone arrangements, as well as multiple diety figures.

Two Men (McCarthy Group 93 Series 5)

McCarthy didn’t proffer an interpretation of this site, which consists of two men (one “bird like in appearance”), as well as four shields and a headless and neckless emu.

AWAT8905 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sitesAWAT8905 LR highlighted Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

There’s also a wallaby or kangaroo, which wasn’t recorded by McCarthy.

AWAT8926 LR Mount Murray Anderson - Two Men

Four Roos (Campbell Plate 14 Figure 1)

A bit further along the series of broad rock ledges are four leaping kangaroos. Although they were described as being in one line, in reality three are head to tail, and the fourth is about 20m away. It was suggested they are leaping away from hunters.

Deity (McCarthy Group 93 Series 3)

On the same rock platform is an Aboriginal engraving of a Spirit Being, or deity, which is ten feet tall and has a small half-oval head.

Close to the deity is a solitary echidna (McCarthy Group 93 Series 4).

Two Deities (Campbell Plate 16 Fig 12)

On another large platform a few hundred metres further and a bit higher up are two deities, described by Campbell. The larger of the two deities is twelve feet in height, and has an oval protuberance from his head (which may be an ornament).

IMG 4311 Pano LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sitesIMG 4311 Pano LR highlighted Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

The smaller deity is more weathered and is potentiallty an older engraving; it is about eight feet in height.

AWAT9229 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

This platform also has some Aboriginal stone arrangements (stones placed in heaps), Shields and a Goanna (McCarthy Group 93 Series 2) and a Man with Shield (McCarthy Group 93 Series 1).

Baiame (Campbell Plate 16 Fig 11)

Arguably the most impressive of the Aboriginal engraving sites along Mount Murray Anderson, this ten-foot high Baiame occupies a commanding position at the end of the ridge. The deity has a cross-shoulder ornament across his waist, and a feather-like ornament sticking out from just below the left armpit.

AWAT9020 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

Mount Murray Anderson South West spur

To the south-west of Mount Murray Anderson and on the other side of the valley is a a parallel spur, which has a series of long rock platforms.

Along these platforms are more Aboriginal engraving sites; many were documented by Campbell – but he also missed a fair few that were recorded much more recently.

Mount Murray Anderson
Poorly shaped whale Large Whale Leaping Kangaroo Boomerangs Fish Shield Shield Shield Man-emu figure Leg

Poorly shaped whale

montage1 stitch LR 2 Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

The smaller of two whales, described by McCarthy as "poorly shaped" and by Campbell as "a very inferior attempt". The whale has a small mouth, and a small tail with two pointed fins.

Large Whale

montage2 stitch LR 1 Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

A "well shaped whale", with a "large conical head sloped downward, large mouth open, equal length pointed jaws... well posed with pectoral fins correctly placed but the tail is too deeply indented".

Leaping Kangaroo

AWAT7347 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

A leaping kangaroo which is "a little animated and looks like a pregnant doe". The posterior of the kangaroo is fairly clear, but the head and front leg is very weathered.

Boomerangs

AWAT7574 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

Campbell described two boomerangs, but three boomerangs are carved into the sandstone.

Fish

AWAT7579 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

Shield

AWAT7581 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

Two shields are also in close proximity: this one has two tranverse lines (as depicted by Campbell).

Shield

AWAT7580 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

Shield with one transverse line (Campbell depicted both shields as having two transverse lines).

Shield

AWAT7981 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

Third shield (near whale) with no lines.

Man-emu figure

montage3 stitch LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

A large "composite human-emu figure", whose head has weathered away. Its front foot is facing backwards.

Leg

AWAT8301 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

A man's leg and penis, "clearly cut in the hard rock".

Whales and Emu (Campbell Plate 14 Fig 7 / McCarthy Group 134)

Described by Campbell (Plate 14 Fig 7), the two largest engravings are of whales. The first whale (seven metres in length) was described by Campbell as “a very inferior attempt” and by McCarthy as “poorly shaped”.

AWAT7372 LR Mount Murray Anderson Aboriginal engraving sites

The second and even bigger whale (nine metres in length) was described by McCarthy as a “well shaped whale”.

montage2 stitch LR 1 Mount Murray Anderson West - Whales and Emu

Other engravings in this group include a mans leg, boomerangs, two shields, a fish – and a large “composite human-emu figure”. Near the emu is another stone arrangement.

Men, Shields and Fish

Around the same rock platform are a number of additional engravings not recorded by Campbell (or later by McCarthy). These include a man, boomerang and skate (stingray) in one group, another shield and eel, and a man with three nearby fish.

Aboriginal Waterhole

On the edge of the rock platform and inside a small shute is a waterhole, which is surrounded by Aboriginal engravings. As well as shields and boomerangs, the site has been described as depicting a man and a kangaroo. Above the waterhole are some axe grinding grooves.

Summary of sites

Site nameReferenceNo. MotifsMotifsAHIMS ID
BaiameCampbell Plate 16 Fig 111Diety (Baiame)45-6-0323
Man with ShieldMcCarthy Group 93 S13Man, shield, boomerang 45-6-0212
Shields & GoannaMcCarthy Group 93 S24Shields, Goanna45-6-0211
Stone ArrangementN/AStones in heaps 45-6-0327
Two DeitiesCampbell Plate 16 Fig 125Deities, Fish45-6-0327
DeityMcCarthy Group 93 S31Spirit BeingTBC
EchidnaMcCarthy Group 93 S41EchidnaTBC
Two MenMcCarthy Group 93 S59Man, oval, shields 45-6-0210
45-6-0214
Four RoosCampbell Plate 14 Fig 14Kangaroos45-6-0326
WaterholeN/A12 estMan, shield, boomerang45-6-3941
Whales & EmuCampbell Plate 14 Fig 7 24Whales, man, emu, fish45-6-0324
Stone arrangementCampbell Plate 14 Fig 7Stones in heaps45-6-0321
TurtleMcCarthy Group 93 S61Turtle45-6-0215

Indigenous sites by National Park

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.
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.
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. The original inhabitants of the Maroota area were the Darug people.
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.
There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
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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