Devil’s Rock (Burragurra) in Yengo National Park is considered one of the most sacred engraving and ceremonial sites in south-eastern Australia. It was described as an Aboriginal Bora ground “where the local Aboriginal people carried out their ceremonies in connection with initiation into manhood”. In the Dreamtime stories, it is said Baiame (creator of heaven and earth) stepped from here to Mt Yengo in one stride and then ascended back into the sky (the distinctive shape of Mt Yengo can be seen in the distance). The tops of Mt Yengo (as well as Mt Warong and Mt Warrawalong) are so flat as Baiame used them as stepping-stones (“Yengo” in the Aboriginal language means “stepping stone” or “step up”).
Approaching Devils Rock from the east, the engravings include ten emu pads, leading to a (weathered) figure.
To the south are more emu tracks and mundoes surrounding a raised circular knob, and a short distance to the west is the first of three spirit pads (mundowa). The most striking figure is that of a figure carved in a sitting position, with five eyes and one arm oustretched to the north. The figure is thought to represent the traditional Wa-boo-ee, the demon-spirit of the Wollombi tribe (the same figure referred to as Baiame in other interpretations of the site).
The site was also used in the 1930s by Frederick Slater to propose a somewhat unorthodox view on the origins of the indigenous Australians: “…the theory that the blacks of Australia came from Egypt was confirmed by the aboriginal carvings at Devil’s Rock, Wollombi. The totems, symbols, and ideographs carved he said, showed that the ancestors of the Australian aborigines migrated, probably from Egypt, in the late paleolithic and the neolithic ages.” This view was quickly denounced: “members of the Anthropological Society who heard Mr. Slater’s interpretations of rock cuttings evidenced their disbelief in his far-fetched renderings of the occult meanings”. However, there were a few notable supporters of this “pseudoarchaeology”, including Steven Strong who believes that Australia has been visited in the past by the Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese – along with the distinct possibility of an even more ancient Extra-terrestrial presence.