Paul Ham reports on developments which may force the relocation of rock art in northwestern Australia:
The world’s oldest depiction of a human face could be threatened if Australian mining companies are permitted to build an explosives factory on the remote Burrup peninsula in the northwest of the country.
A bulbous image of indiscernible sex, with huge eyes and sunken cheeks, the 10,000 year-old carving is chipped out of hard rock. Thousands of other carvings, mostly of plants and animals, which date back to beyond the last Ice Age, are scattered about the peninsula.
Archeologists believe that aboriginal tribes made the distinctive carvings up to 30,000 years ago. They could be nearly twice as old as the Lascaux cave paintings in the Dordogne, France.
The West Australian paper has this report on a December 20 rally:
A rally in Perth today marked the 200th global 'stand up' for Burrup Peninsula with a renewed call for World Heritage listing for the rock art site.
Since 2006, Friends of Australian Rock Art has organised 200 vigils for the Burrup rock art in more than 35 countries and in every continent except Antarctica.
FARA spokesperson Robin Chapple said that international pressure was mounting for Australia to include the Burrup on the UNESCO World Heritage List.