Written in Stone

Monday 17 August 2015 - June 2016

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Macleay Museum, Gosper Lane, The University of Sydney


Visualising how Australian Aboriginals lived in the pre-industrial world.

Curated by Matt Poll at the Macleay Museum

Stone objects were part of an Aboriginal tool kit which people used across the Australian mainland and Tasmania over a period of at least over sixty thousand years. They challenge people to imagine the deep past, to visualise how people lived in the pre-industrial world.

The diversity of Aboriginal cultural and linguistic groups in Australia produced a variety of tool types. The diversity of stone source materials and the practical knowledges of the different material properties of different forms of stone show an intimate engagement with and knowledge of the Australian landscape. Through countless hours of craftsmanship, ingenuity and practical necessity the makers of these stone tools transformed a common element of the Australian landscape into objects that employed functional, symbolic, philosophical and spiritual purposes.