Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jill M. Church
Ubirr lies in Kakadu National Park in Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Kakadu encompasses nearly 5 million acres of land, most of which is inaccessible by car. Darwin, the closest city of any size, is a 12-hour drive from Ubirr. Ubirr first appears to be a rather chaotic collection of rock art. Australian Aborigines have been painting and repainting the walls of Ubirr for thousands of years. In fact, Aborigines can boast the longest continually practiced artistic tradition in the world. Tribes of Aboriginal hunters and gatherers established the site over 20,000 years ago for its desirable location. The site was central to a large variety of plant and animal resources from the East Alligator River, the Nadab floodplain, marshes, nearby woods, and the surrounding rocky outcrops, making the area very valuable. The rock art at Ubirr and other sites in the area has been divided into ...