A central and fundamental issue in rock art research is where the art is placed in space and time (David et al. 2013). Discovering and applying new techniques to understand motif styles and their chronology will provide us with this information. Here we use a â€˜cabledâ€™ methodology (see Chippindale and TaÃ§on 1998:93), where multiple lines of evidence are developed together, by combining absolute and relative dating techniques. Absolute radiocarbon dates are made on two different substances that have been related with relative dates derived by assessing motif superimpositions, the stylistic analysis of motifs and degrees of preservation. Combined, the absolute and relative methods provide reliable dates for the painted motifs on a rock art panel at Red Lily Lagoon Site 3 (see Figure 2.1). Radiocarbon dates were obtained for mineral accretions suspected to contain the minerals whewellite and whedellite (both are hydrated forms of calcium oxalate CaC2O4, and called hereafter â€˜calcium oxalateâ€™), and from preserved non-reactive organics contained within ancient mud wasp nest stumps. This is the first attempt to apply radiocarbon dating to these two different materials, calcium oxalate and mud wasp nests, directly associated with the same rock art.
|Title of host publication||The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia|
|Editors||Bruno David, Paul S C TaÃ§on, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Jean-Michel Geneste|
|Place of Publication||Canberra, Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|