Rock of Ages


DSCF9143-02Down in south west Victoria, Australia there is a rocky point known since white settlement as Point Ritchie.   To the local aboriginal tribe, the Gundjitmara, the place has always been called Moyjil.


Since the  1980s archaeologists have been studying evidence of aboriginal occupation at Moyjil.   High up on the cliffs in a spot that is off limits to the public they have found evidence of a fire pit that could possibly date back as much as 120,000 years.  If this can be proved it totally rewrites the story of human habitation in Australia.   Up until now the aboriginal settlement of this part of the country has been estimated to be around 30,000 years.

Elsewhere in Australia scientists have discovered evidence of aboriginal habitation that dates back 65,000 years.  The idea that habitation could date back even further is too much of stretch for some scientists who feel the fire pit might be nothing more than evidence that a tree burnt down to the ground all those many, many thousands of years ago.

Which ever estimation proves to be correct there is something about Moyjil that gets to me.   Clambering around on the rocks there I have often had the sense that I am walking with ancient spirits.

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A friend and I went looking evidence of aboriginal settlement ourselves one morning in late summer a couple of years ago.   At the base of the cliffs we found circles of fire blackened stones surrounded by reddened rings.  The markings were so subtle it was hard to take photographs of them so I will post a video that is absolutely fascinating viewing.

12 thoughts on “Rock of Ages

    1. It was where I used to live. Spending a few years on the edge of the wild wandering round ancient sites was fabulous but the time came to move on last year. There are some experiences I had down there that I’m still processing. When I read the latest scientific reports on Moyjil it reminded me of my own experiences there – which led to this post 🙂


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