Series Concept Marks left by human activity in and on the landscape in some regions date back many thousands of years. By painting chipping, and sctratching on rocks and cave walls, the ancients left marks and patterns, some of which may have been messages or information which is now lost to us. Some meanings we can guess at, others we have no idea; but whatever they say, we are in no doubt they were man-made, and most of us feel in awe in the presence of such ancient signs and symbols found on every continent that Man has occupied.At least one quilt on the Kimberley theme is finished, and I have been reading various articles on the Bungle Bungles to help crystallise why I personally am drawn to these ancient, emblematic sandstone karst landscapes.
I hadn’t realised how fragile they are inside, protected as they are by an outer coating layer of cyanobacteria just millimeters-thick that stabilises the surface of each unit of the formation. Hidden beneath are the layers of soft rock – white or light coloured fresh sandstone alternating with conglomerates. For millions of years these sediments have been carved into by water erosion in the monsoon wet, being divided into round topped towers separated by steep sided gorges, the sides of which display the characteristic orange and charcoal grey bacterial bands that appear to wind around each tower.
My goodness I’ve learned a lot this morning, and unexpectedly, one of the most interesting and informative sources I read is the Western Australian Government’s nomination document supporting the inclusion of Purnululu or Bungle Bungles National Park on the World Heritage List in 2007. Far from being dry and boring, the very readable text is beautifully arranged and includes some lovely art from the region, plus some brilliant landform photography. An hour just whizzed by, and you can dip into it here – http://tinyurl.com/knsrme8