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Alexander Dudley | all galleries >> miscellany > Grindstone
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25-AUG-2004 Alexander Dudley


Kakadu National Park, Australia

Aboriginal people have been living in Australia for tens of thousands of years, which makes the concept of "Wilderness" here
almost laughable. Traditionally there was a tremendous amount of responsibility tied up with laws and stories which were
essential for the sustainability of the culture. Given the apparently pristine nature of many places in Australia it is difficult to
imagine people living in such an area for so long; That is until you find something that has obviously taken thousands of
years to form, such as the match between a grindstone and a grinding hollow.

Such implements were amongst the most important pieces of material culture for Aboriginal people prior to Western influences.
Discovering this grindstone in a rock shelter in Kakadu during a survey for a lizard was a poignant reminder that technology
doesn't mean intelligence, and that materialism is sometimes a poor replacement for a close community.

I recently discovered this same grindstone is illustrated in Plate 19 in the book "Alligator Rivers Study - a Review Report"
by C.S Christian and J.M. Aldrick published in 1977.

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