Summary: A large shelter in Popran National Park, the Upside Down Man Cave has over 274 motifs, representing three engraving types.

Located in Popran National Park, the Upside Man Cave or Shelter (UDM) is a “a large and cavernously weathered shelter” which measures approximately 17x6x3.5m. The art within the shelter consists of engravings, paintings, drawings and stencils, with over 274 motifs in total. (The shelter was extensively researched by Jo McDonald in 1991, with the age of the art estimated to date from around 1500 AD.)

awat6338 lr Upside Down Man Cave (Popran NP)

A pecked upside-down-man (one of three three male anthropomorphs) is at the end of the far end of the cave. He is through to be the source of the shelter’s name (although there is also a red drawn upside down human). This figure is pecked (intaglio), one of three drawing styles in the cave, with the spine of the figure more deeply pecked than the rest of its body.

awat6384 lr Upside Down Man Cave (Popran NP)

There are two more petrogryphs or engravings of male human figures, one pecked (intaglio), and the other a “miniature-Sydney style” (pecked and abraded) outline engraving.

Many of the 274 motifs are hand stencils (55 in total were recorded), of which 36 were of hands and 18 of hand variations (hand and wrist, hand and arm, finger manipulation).

awat6352 lr Upside Down Man Cave (Popran NP)

As well as the engraved men, there are a number of painted red anthropomorphs (one has a white outline) beneath white outlined macropods. A number of these, like the petroglyphs, have three fingers.

awat6341 lr Upside Down Man Cave (Popran NP)

Other pigment art includes male and female anthropomorphs, macropods, snakes, echidnas, reptiles, fish and eel, tracks, material objects, geometrics and a shield. These are have been painted in charcoal, white pipeclay and red ochre.

Upside Down Man Cave (Popran NP) - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

There are over 350 Aboriginal engraving and sites recorded in the Central Coast region, many of these in the Brisbane Water National Park.
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. Many more Aboriginal heritage sites are located in the Marramarra National Park. The original inhabitants of the area were the Darug people.
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.
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.
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.
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