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Ross J. Rock art of the Red Centre. 2005.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/1841
Rock art of the Red Centre
The earliest accounts of Central Australian rock art were recorded in the journals of the explorer Ernest Giles, who set out in 1872 to explore the unknown interior of Australia. Mounted on horses, he and his two companions followed the dry sand bed of the Finke River into the rugged and relatively well watered central ranges. before turning south-west across the mulga-covered plains which run west to the sand dune country where surface water is found only after rains. Several months into the trip, after days without water, the party's progress was impeded by a vast salt lake whose surface proved treacherously boggy. forcing the riders to turn hack to what Giles quaintly recorded as 'a little pass and glen where we knew that water was to be got' (1995:49). The water, described as 'thick and dirty with a nauseous flavour', was found by digging a deep trench into the sand (Giles 199):50). Subsurface water seeped slowly into the bottom of the trench leaving lime for the men to explore their surroundings as they waited to water their horses.