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Destruction of heritage or secular iconoclasm? The case of Dampier Archipelago Rock Art

conference contribution
posted on 2014-02-01, 00:00 authored by Antonio Gonzalez Zarandona
The Dampier Archipelago (Western Australia) consists of 42 islands;
Dampier Island is the largest. After large deposits of iron ore
were discovered in the 1960s, and the ban to export it was lifted in
December 1960, several companies were established in the area.
Two towns were built: Dampier (1965) and Karratha (1968) to
accommodate the growing population. An artiÀ cial causeway was
built to connect the island to the mainland. The area was chosen
to host the industrial facilities to process the iron ore, instead of
Depuch Island, located 100 km north of the archipelago. To some
this decision is the reason that between 5% and 25% of the rock art
has been already destroyed or removed due to industrial action.1
Removal is the same as destruction, as rock art should always remain
in situ in order to convey its meaning. In 1979 the name was
changed to Burrup Peninsula, as it is known today. Its Aboriginal
name is Murujuga, which means »hip bone sticks out.«
McDonald and Veth believe that up to 2004, less than 14% of land
on the peninsula had been impacted.2
The government of Western
Australia, through the Department of Indigenous AɆ airs, acknowledges
that between 1972 and 2005, 7.2% petroglyphs (engravings
made onto the boulders) and 4% of Aboriginal sites3
have been
destroyed, while 1682 petroglyphs and 119 sites have been relocated.
On the other hand, up to 2008 more than 3000 Aboriginal sites
had been registered at the Department of Aboriginal AɆ airs. It is
arguably the »largest rock art site in the world;« allegedly it contains
up to one million petroglyphs.

History

Event

CIHA as the Object of Art History', The Challenge of the object. Congress of the International Committee of the HIstory of Art (33rd : 2012 : Nurnberg, Germany)

Source

The Challenge of the Object. Die Herausforderung des Objekts. 33rd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, Nurnberg 15-20 July 2012. Congress Proceedings. Part 3.

Issue

1

Series

CIHA as the Object of Art History', The Challenge of the object

Pagination

21 - 25

Publisher

Germanisches Nationalmuseum

Location

Nürnberg , Germany

Place of publication

Nürnberg, Germany

Start date

2012-07-15

End date

2012-07-20

ISBN-13

978-3936688641

ISBN-10

3936688648

Language

eng

Publication classification

EN.1 Other conference paper

Copyright notice

2014, The Author

Editor/Contributor(s)

Grossmann, G. Ulrich

Title of proceedings

CIHA 2012 : Proceedings of the 33rd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art : CIHA as the Object of Art History : The Challenge of the Object

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