Title

How was Mulka’s Cave, an Aboriginal rock art site near Hyden, in south-central Western Australia, used by the people who decorated its walls, when the present entrance was much smaller.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Western Australian Museum

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

School

Natural Sciences

RAS ID

7036

Comments

This article was originally published as

Webb, R. E., & Rossi, A. M. (2008). How was Mulka’s Cave, an Aboriginal rock art site near Hyden, in south-central Western Australia, used by the people who decorated its walls, when the present entrance was much smaller. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 24, 307-318.

Original article available here

Abstract

Analysis of old photographs and survey data shows that nearly one metre of the sediment in Mulkaís Cave, a profusely decorated Aboriginal rock art site in south-western Australia, has disappeared in the last 50 years. This evidence for erosion prompted us to reassess the results of previous research at the site. Our reconstruction of the floor level in 1950 affects light levels within the cave and the visibility of the artwork, causing us to reconsider how the cave was used when the artwork was made and to suggest that the present entrance may not then have been in use. Investigation of the deposits immediately outside the cave suggests, furthermore, that that area may not have been a major focus of camping. Rather, camping occurred near a series of gnammas 500 m north of the cave.