Summary: Multiple Aboriginal engravings located on five sites across the western side of Topham Hill, on a series of rock ledges.

Above the significant Topham Hill Trig Aboriginal engraving site is a long rock ledge along the hill, which has many more Aboriginal carvings. Some of these were documented by W.D.Campbell in 1899, but he missed or ignored a number of engravings which were later recorded by McCarthy.

Topham Hill Trig Ledge
Shield Fish Stingray Shield with Club Boomerangs Shield Indeterminate object Koala Emu? Pair of boomerangs

Shield

AWAT6135 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Bark shield, with two transverse lines

Fish

AWAT6138 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Fish carved on edge of rock ledge

Stingray

AWAT6149 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Stingray, is very weathered and hard to make out.

Shield with Club

AWAT8505 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

A shield, within which is a is sword club.

Boomerangs

AWAT8451 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Three parallel (non-returning) boomerangs.

Shield

AWAT8449 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

A second shield on the other side of the boomerrangs

Indeterminate object

"An elliptical oval attached to a singlle line (handle) with a bar (binding) across its middle, probably a weapon or a ceremonial object".

Koala

AWAT8480 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

A human figure or a koala bear.

Emu?

AWAT8493 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Initially described as bird, probably an emu and later as a koala

Pair of boomerangs

AWAT8406 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

A returning and a non-returning boomerang

Group 17, Series 2 (Figure B)

On the left is a bark shield, with two transverse lines, and a longitudinal line (which was ommited from the original sketch).

AWAT8414 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Further along the ledge on an almost vertical surface are more engravings. At one end is another shield, within which is a is sword club.

AWAT8505 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Next to the shield are three parallel (non-returning) boomerangs.

AWAT8451 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Another shield is carved on the other side of the boomerangs.

AWAT8449 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

A bit further along the ledge is an indeterminate figure, described (by McCarthy) as “an elliptical oval attached to a singlle line (handle) with a bar (binding) across its middle, probably a weapon or a ceremonial object”.

AWAT8467 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

The next and penultimate carving in the series was initially described by McCarthy as a human figure or a koala bear. He later described it as a koala bear in profile, “sitting in tree fork, half oval head, no eyes, oval body, pointed rump, triangular back, short, pointed foreleg sloped upward, truncated hind leg sloped backward”.

AWAT8480 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravingsAWAT8480 LR highlighted Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

The last figure in this series was also described initially by McCarthy as a “highy conventionalized figure of a bird, probably an emu” and later (perhaps mistakenly) as a koala with a three-rayed headdress.

AWAT8493 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravingsAWAT8493 LR highlighted Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Group 17, Fig C

On another narrow ledge are more figures; at one end is a fish.

AWAT6138 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Six feet from the fish is a stingray, which is very weathered and hard to make out.

AWAT6149 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Next to the stingray and very weathered is a pair of boomerangs (one a returning boomerang and the other a non-returning boomerang).

AWAT8406 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Group 17, Series 5 (Figure E)

A line of four fish included by McCarthy in Group 17 also forms part of a large group of Aboriginal engraving some distance away, which was described by W.D. Campbell in Plate 17, Fig 6 (Topham Hill Fish).

AWAT6182 LR Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings

Topham Hill Trig Ledge engravings - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

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.
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.
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.
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.
There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
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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