Summary: Two Aboriginal engravings on Elephant Rock near Patonga, including an intriguing carving of an ant, spider or "indeterminate bag-like object"...

Located near the end of Elephant Rock, a huge rock platform near Patonga, are two Aboriginal engravings. One of them was first described in 1966 by Ian Sim as “an indeterminate bag-like object with two projections at one end”. A couple of decades later it was depicted more elegantly by McCarthy as being an ant or a spider: a “Unique figure among the rare insects in the engravings as a whole”.

It’s hard to make out the two legs of the ant/spider, which was described by McCarthy as having “a half oval head pointed at the back, no eyes, triangular body with slightly convex sided and flat end, narrow neck, 2 narrow double line legs pointed forward in line with the body and the narrow end of one of them is tuned d.ownward, a single line curved leg pointed backward on each side of the body.

Engraving Mankind Group 149 1 Elephant Rock Engravings

Near this engraving, on a more vertical section of Elephant Rock, is a face. Or the upper part of a face. Like the ant/spider, it is very unusual, and while the pecked lines suggest the engraving is of Aboriginal, it was not documented by any of the early Australian anthropologists.

AWAT2122 LR Elephant Rock Engravings

A short distance from Elephant Rock and only recorded fairly recently is an Aboriginal engraving of a man.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hiking the World, and receive notifications of new posts by email. (A hike is added every 1-2 weeks, on average.)

Join 1,205 other subscribers


Leave a Reply

Aboriginal Sites by 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.
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.