Summary: The Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site is large site documented by W.D. Campbell in 1899, who described it as “one of the finest groups the Writer has come across”. The scenes include two men fighting and a successful kangaroo hunt.

The Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site is situated on a large rock saddle within Red Hill Reserve, between Wheeler Creek and Middle Creek.

img 6017 lr Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

In total, the Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site contains 143 figures, of which 91 are mundoes (footprints). Not all the figures are obvious: Campbell described a “grotesque looking figure which may be a seal” and next to it a deity, while McCarthy many years later simply suggested the was probably a shark, and the deity a man.

Wheeler Heights
Two kangaroos Man Man Two dolphins Dolphin and stingray Young Seal Skate Marine creature and Man Man holding club Man Sistrum or ornament

Two kangaroos

AWAT0703 LR 1 Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Two speared kangaroos

Man

AWAT0726 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

One of two men (hunters). Next to him is a stingray.

Man

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One of two men (hunters). A mundoe is above his head.

Two dolphins

AWAT0733 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Described as two dolphins (although one is a fish)

Dolphin and stingray

AWAT0765 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Young Seal

AWAT0761 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Skate

AWAT0744 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

One of the stingrays has a "long tail shaped like a human leg with a pointed knee".

Marine creature and Man

AWAT0165 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

The marine creature has four conical projections from its head and is "probably a gummy shark" (McCarthy). Next to it is a small man. McCarthy suggested that "the little man appears to have some relationship with the marin creature".

Man holding club

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One of of men engaged in a duel (he holds a boomerang or club in his right hand)

Man

AWAT0696 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

One of two men engaged in a duel

Sistrum or ornament

chain Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

A sistrum (a "shell jingling instrument looped into a circle" (Cambell) " or a "shell ornament" (McCarthy).

At the western end of the rock platform are two kangaroos and two hunters, in a scene “which represents the chase and spearing of kangaroos” (Campbell). Both of the kangaroos have been speared.

AWAT0703 LR 1 Wheeler Heights Aboriginal SiteAWAT0703 LR highlighted Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Next to the two kangaroos are the two men (hunters); next to one of them is a stingray.

Under the kangaroos are what was described as two dolphins, although one of them looks more like a fish.

AWAT0733 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

At the top of the site is a group of stingrays, fish and a seal.

AWAT0734 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal SiteAWAT0734 LR highlighted Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

AWAT0765 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal SiteAWAT0765 LR highlighted Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

One of the stingrays has a “long tail shaped like a human leg with a pointed knee”.

AWAT0742 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal SiteAWAT0742 LR highlighted Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Near the dolphins, fish and seals are four clubs.

AWAT0739 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

In the middle of the site is a marine animal next to a man, with another man below them.

montage1a LR 1 Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Sitemontage1b LR 1 Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

The marine creature has four conical projections from its head and is “probably a gummy shark” (McCarthy). Next to it is a small man. McCarthy suggested that “the little man appears to have some relationship with the marin creature”.

The larger man beneath these two figures is “holding a biconical club vertically as though about to throw it”.

AWAT0160 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

Below this man is another man: Campbell suggested these two men (both of whom are carrying weapons) were fighting: “the central portion appears to represent a combat between two natives who exhibit energy in their attitudes; each has a boomerang in the right hand”.

AWAT0697 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal SiteAWAT0696 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site
AWAT0697 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal SiteAWAT0696 LR Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site

One of the more unusual engravings is that of what is either a sistrum (a “shell jingling instrument looped into a circle” (Cambell) ” or a “shell ornament” (McCarthy).

Wheeler Heights Aboriginal Site - Site Summary

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

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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.
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.
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