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Natural shell deposits can be differentiated

Natural shell deposits can be differentiated from middens because they consist of mature and immature, edible and inedible shellfish and would contain no large amounts of charcoal or stone tools. Less commonly found in middens are remains from human burials. Stencils are produced by mixing ochre in the mouth into a wet paste, then spraying it over the object to be stencilled onto the wall of the shelter. Engravings occur usually where there is a suitable exposure of fairly flat, soft rock or in rock overhangs. The dough was then kneaded and cooked to make a type of damper, which was an essential part of the Aboriginal diet.

Less commonly found

Paintings are drawn with white, red, yellow and black pigments and charcoal drawings are also common. Back to top Seed Grinding Patches Seed grinding patches are areas of rock worn smooth by Aboriginal women grinding seeds.

Most of the fine stone flakes and tools found in the local area would have been traded in from other areas such as the north coast, Hunter Valley, and the Nepean River. They are also at risk from clearing. The precise meanings behind the engravings are not known.

Other forms of artwork include ochre paintings, as well as charcoal drawings and etchings, although stencil art was the most common method. The arrangements sometimes identified ceremonial grounds and tribal boundaries, as well as other sorts of ownership boundaries.

These are where initiation ceremonies are performed and are often meeting places as well. The seeds were then ground into flour, which was mixed with water to form a dough. Shell Middens Middens are shell mounds built up over hundreds of years as a result of countless meals of shellfish. Middens differ immensely in shape and size, from a few shells scattered on the surface, to deposits that are metres thick and buried beneath vegetation. Occasionally, one ring can be found that would have been used for corroborees and for the rare fight.

There are very few stone arrangements left in the Sydney area. They are most at risk from natural processes. When the tide is high, fish swim into these pools, but are trapped when the tide lowers. Back to top Fish Trap Fish traps are rocks placed side by side to form a circle in water.