Ngaut Ngaut: a tally of lunar cycles?

Lunar cycles at Ngaut Ngaut

   On the banks of the Murray River, north of Adelaide, is a  site called "Ngaut Ngaut". It belongs to the Nganguraku people, and engraved images of the Sun and Moon testify to its astronomical connections. Close to the engravings are a series of dots and lines carved in the rock, which, according to the traditional owners, show the "cycles of the Moon". This oral tradition has been passed through generations from father to son, but since initiation ceremonies were banned (along with the Nganguraku language) by Christian missionaries over a hundred years ago, only this fragment of knowledge survives, and it is not known exactly what the symbols mean. The rich record engraved on the walls of Ngaut Ngaut has so far defied attempts at decoding it. So, for the moment we must label it as intriguing, but not conclusive, evidence of Aboriginal astronomy. 



All material on this page © Ray Norris 2007 except where otherwise indicated.