Mt Cameron West

Mount Cameron West is one of the most important Aboriginal art sites in Tasmania. Discovered in 1933 by a Devonport school teacher it is recognised as the finest example of Tasmanian Aboriginal art and one of the finest displays of hunter/gatherer art in the world. Situated at the northern end of a beach about 3 km from Mt Cameron West it is only 20 cm above the high tide level. The slabs of rock in the area have been so totally covered with motifs that they look like pieces of sculptured rock.

The Heritage of Australia describes the site: 'The motifs themselves consist of a variety of geometric or non-figurative forms, such as circles, trellises, rows of dots etc. Many of the circles are parts of composite designs, with their interior spaces occupied by crosses, parallel lines or other circles. On a nearby site there were depicted the tracks of a large bird such as an emu. These motifs have been made by punching or grinding a series of holes into the surface of the calcerenite and then abrading the ridges between them so as to form deep incised lines. A few large pointed core tools of hard quartzite and basalt were found in the excavations and these might have been the chisels of the prehistoric sculptors.'

It is thought the site may be 2 000 years old. There has been a long-standing argument about the nature of these carvings. Some experts claim that they have distinct similarities with carvings in Central Australia while other experts claim that there are few similarities.

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