Koonalda Cave, Nullarbor Plain, South Australia, c. 16,000-27,000 BP / n)crvclsepl34

"On the south west side of Squeeze, and about two feet from its entrance, there are two sets of four concentric circles formed of lightly incised lines. The top one is approximately seven and half inches long and six and a quarter inches wide (Pl. 34). They are both very faint but it is impossible to say whether this is due to erosion as the lines may never have been any deeper than they are now. The surface of the lines is covered with fine cracks like all the other prehistoric markings and they are the only regular curvilinear forms found in the cave" (75).

[To see both sets of concentric circles, see Previous image.]

Palaeoart Interpretation (James Harrod): If we may say that the Grid (Lattice) motif frames the Art Passage [see interpretation for image (l) Previous], it appears that the significance of the Squeeze itself is introduced by two symbols, perhaps opposite or complementary, namely these unique Concentric Circle motifs and the only Fan Motifs in the lengthy Art Passage. I suggest it is not extreme speculation to suggest that the Grid/Lattice motifs that frame the Art Passage might symbolize something like one of the most fundamental notions in Aboriginal--and hunter-gatherer--religions, sacred systems of marital, resource, and ritual exchange. I further suggest that the Fan and Concentric Circle motifs signify some sort of initiatory-rebirthing rituals, the Concentric Circles suggesting the entering into a process of depth and centering (like seed, egg, womb) and the Fan the radiance of being rebirthed. [Intriguingly, in the image below the Concentric Circles appear to be crossed by four Fan-like lines, though this may be sheer, random coincidence.]

Photo © R. Edwards, in L. Maynard and R. Edwards, in Wright, R. V. S. (ed.). 1971. Archaeology of the Gallus Site, Koonalda Cave. Canberra: Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies: Plate 34.

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