Summary: A complex Aboriginal engraving site near Cotton Tree Creek. The figures include at least two whales and a man, as well over 40 axe grinding grooves.

It’s surprising that this Aboriginal engraving site wasn’t documented by any of the early Australian anthropologists; it was only recorded in the 1980s, although initials chiselled into nearby rocks date back to the 1940s. The large rock platform is above Cotton Tree Creek, which flows into Cotton Tree Bay on Cowan Creek.

AWAT9973 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

At the furthest (easternmost) end of the rock platform is what is likely to be a figure of a whale, which is six metres in length and somewhat oddly shaped.

AWAT0008 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

Next to this whale is another whale.

AWAT0013 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

The second whale is also about six metres in length, with an over-sized left fin.

montage1 stitch LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

Next to the two whales (and what may be a very indistinct third whale or shark) is a figure of a man. He is wearing a headdress and has two lines across his waist.

AWAT9988 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

Below the man’s right foot is a crescent-shaped figure, which may be a boomerang.

AWAT9992 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

Below the man’s left foot is an indeterminate shap

AWAT9999 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

Further down the rock below the man is an eel.

AWAT0212 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

At the western end of the rock platform are some smaller figures – an eel, and two fish.

Perhaps the most spectacular aspect of this site is the number of axe grinding grooves (AGGs). There are at least 40 along the creek, in a long line,

Near the axe ginding grooves is a grooved water channel.

AWAT0241 LR Cotton Tree Creek engraving site

The creek drops over a ledge to another rock pool below the engraving site, which has another two clearly defined axe grinding grooves.

Cotton Tree Creek engraving site - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

There are about 300 recorded Aboriginal heritage sites in Wollemi National Park, with the rugged and remote environment meaning many sites are yet to be "discovered" and recorde.
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.
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.
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.
A review of different techniques for photographing Aboriginal rock art. This includdes oblique flash, chain and planar mosaic imaging which combines hundreds of overlapping photos.
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