Carpenters Gap rockshelter 1: 40,000 years of Aboriginal occupation in the Napier Ranges, Kimberley, WA

23rd January 2014

View of Carpenters Gap 1, Napier Range, WA (published in Australian Archaeology 40:58).

View of Carpenters Gap 1, Napier Range, WA (published in Australian Archaeology 40:58).

Sue O’Connor

Introduction*

Carpenter’s Gap Shelter I is a large north facing rockshelter in the Napier Ranges of the Kimberley region, Western Australia (Fig. 1). It is located in Windjana Gorge National Park, famous for its spectacular vertical walled canyon between 50 and 100 m high, geological formations and fossils (Playford n.d.). This impressive shelter has a floor area in excess of
50 m2. Today much of the floor area of the shelter is inaccessible as there is less than
0.50 m clearance between the surface of the deposit and the shelter roof. The deposit is held in place by massive limestone boulders, which are covered with pictographs of animal tracks. The low overhanging roof and walls are painted in red, yellow, brown and white ochre motifs and charcoal drawings in what is thought to be the most recent Kimberley art style (Crawford 1977). This shelter is in Bunuba country and Bunuba people still use it on significant occasions. Over two field seasons in 1993 and 1994, 4 m squares were excavated in the central front area of the shelter immediately behind the large boulder with pictographs. A l m square to the northwest of the main excavation confirmed that the area behind boulders had the greatest depth of deposit.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

O'Connor, S.
Carpenters Gap rockshelter 1: 40,000 years of Aboriginal occupation in the Napier Ranges, Kimberley, WA
June 1995
40
58–59
Short Report
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