Summary: Interpreted as a hunting scene, this small Aboriginal engraving site near the Cook Street Trail features a large emu/turtle, superimposed with a man (or hunter). Nearby sre two snakes.

Documented by Campbell in 1899, the dominant figure at this engraving site near the Cook Street Trail above Bantry Bay was described as a “turtle, pierced by a spear, with ten transverse lines across its body and five across its head”. McCarthy later suggested the figure was a “composite human and emu being although the oval head and short neck are unlike those of an emu; the body, wings and rump are emu in character, and also the legs, but the feet are human”. Campbell describes the legs as “abnormally large and misshapen”and compared them to those of the kangaroo at the Grotto Point site, while McCarthy called them a “pair of wings at different angles”.

The head is very distinctive, with fives bands aross it.

Although parts of the figure are covered by leaves and vegetation, the grooves are very deep and distinct.

AWAT4964 LR Bantry Bay Speared Turtle & Man

Superimposed on the emu/turtle is the figure of a man, who has a belt: “the hunter proclaiming his achievement” (Campbell).

While Campbell and McCarthy had differering views on what animal the larger figure is, McCarthy also interpreted the site as “a mythological incident in which this creature was speared”.

engraving campbell plate8 fig2 Bantry Bay Speared Turtle & Man

On an adjacent rock are two long, snake-like figures.

AWAT5011 LR Bantry Bay Speared Turtle & Man
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Aboriginal 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.