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.
There’s also a wallaby or kangaroo, which wasn’t recorded by McCarthy.
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).
The smaller deity is more weathered and is potentiallty an older engraving; it is about eight feet in height.
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.
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.
Poorly shaped whale
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.
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".
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.
Campbell described two boomerangs, but three boomerangs are carved into the sandstone.
Two shields are also in close proximity: this one has two tranverse lines (as depicted by Campbell).
Shield with one transverse line (Campbell depicted both shields as having two transverse lines).
Third shield (near whale) with no lines.
A large "composite human-emu figure", whose head has weathered away. Its front foot is facing backwards.
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”.
The second and even bigger whale (nine metres in length) was described by McCarthy as a “well shaped whale”.
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.
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 name||Reference||No. Motifs||Motifs||AHIMS ID|
|Baiame||Campbell Plate 16 Fig 11||1||Diety (Baiame)||45-6-0323|
|Man with Shield||McCarthy Group 93 S1||3||Man, shield, boomerang||45-6-0212|
|Shields & Goanna||McCarthy Group 93 S2||4||Shields, Goanna||45-6-0211|
|Stone Arrangement||N/A||Stones in heaps||45-6-0327|
|Two Deities||Campbell Plate 16 Fig 12||5||Deities, Fish||45-6-0327|
|Deity||McCarthy Group 93 S3||1||Spirit Being||TBC|
|Echidna||McCarthy Group 93 S4||1||Echidna||TBC|
|Two Men||McCarthy Group 93 S5||9||Man, oval, shields||45-6-0210|
|Four Roos||Campbell Plate 14 Fig 1||4||Kangaroos||45-6-0326|
|Waterhole||N/A||12 est||Man, shield, boomerang||45-6-3941|
|Whales & Emu||Campbell Plate 14 Fig 7||24||Whales, man, emu, fish||45-6-0324|
|Stone arrangement||Campbell Plate 14 Fig 7||Stones in heaps||45-6-0321|
|Turtle||McCarthy Group 93 S6||1||Turtle||45-6-0215|