Methods of dating archaeological evidence speed dating cheltenham
The source material was traded extensively across Australia in the past, with some material traveling many hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from where it was mined to where it was used.
It comes in a variety of colours from pale yellow to dark reddish-brown.
These traditional materials were applied in several ways: Stencil images are found widely in rock art, usually of hands or arms, animal tracks, boomerangs, spear throwers or other tools such as stone axes.
Stencil images are some of the oldest painted images known from the Australian continent.
Other artists have adopted modern media and work with acrylic paints on canvas, gouache or ochres on archival paper or other surfaces.
Apart from the materials used, Aboriginal artists have shown considerable innovation in the techniques they adopt for applying paint and creating designs - ranging from the crushed end of a stick, as used for example by Emily Kame Kngwarreye in some works to produce characteristic large smudged dots, to the fine brushes used to produce the delicate rarrk patterns of Arnhem Land art.
Some pieces have flattened surfaces indicating use and there is other evidence of pieces of ochre being ground up or pulverised.
Most have been carbon dated with ages between 10 000 and 40 000 years (the effective limit of carbon dating), and one site had what appears to be an artists palette of ochres - dated 18 000 years old.
The oldest evidence so far found of mortuary practices by modern humans (and hence evidence of a belief in an afterlife) is at Lake Mungo in western New South Wales (see Australian Prehistory page).The rich dark red in some of Jack Britten's paintings comes from the use of kangaroo blood mixed with ochre powder.Traditional use of ochres included not only body and other painting (such as bark and wooden sculptures), but also a role in mortuary ceremonies.The use of ochre pigments is thus a very long tradition in Australia.
In contemporary Aboriginal art, artists select from the same broad variety of modern and traditional materials and techniques as non-indigenous artists.Ochre was the most important painting material used traditionally by Aboriginal people.