Summary: An interesting Aboriginal engraving site on Topham Hill depicting a school of 30 fish; below this site is a weathered carving of a man.

An interesting Aboriginal engraving site on Topham Hill; an old National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS) sign is a sad reminder that many of these engraving sites were far more accessible in the past.

IMG 3637 LR Topham Hill Fish

McCarthy Group 103 Series 1 / Campbell Plate 6 & 8

The most prominent group of engravings is a school of 30 “bream-like fish”, most of them swimming head to tail.

AWAT6213 LR Topham Hill Fish

All the fish have a pointed head and no eyes. Overlapping one of of the fish is a lizard or goanna (McCarthy describes both a lizard and goanna, while Stabury & Cleg describe them both as lizards.)

A bit further north are another four fish, which are swimming towards the main school.

AWAT6182 LR Topham Hill Fish

Further along the rock ledge, and one of the last figures in the group, is a figure described as a “skate like figure” with “a pair of elliptical figures projecting from its head”.

AWAT6183 LR Topham Hill Fish

McCarthy Group 103 Series 2 / Campbell Plate 7

On a separate platform lower down Topham Hill is one more Aboriginal engraving. It’s very weathered, and was recorded by Campbell as a “somewhat rudely-shaped figure of a man”. McCarthy is a bit more detailed in his description, documenting that the man has a “tall, big straight sided head, straight arms downward, 2 eyes, armlet at right shoulder, 4 pointed fingers on right hand and 3 bar fingers on left hand, broad body straight on right side and concave on left side...”

It’s likely from the description and location that the photo above is the same figure described by Campbell and McCarthy. However, this means that Campbell’s sketch is missing what seems to be a rayed headdress on the man.

Site sketch of Topham HIll Fish and Man

Topham Hill Fish - Site Summary

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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Located to the north-west of Sydney, just south of the Dharug and Yengo National Parks. Maroota has a high concentration of (known) Aboriginal sites. The original inhabitants of the Maroota area were the Darug people.
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