07.09.2014 / Coonabarabran, AU


I visited the Sandstone-Caves in the Pilliga Forest, which is an Aboriginal Heritage Site in a large nature reserve about half an hour away from town. Not only can rock carvings and drawings be seen there – thousands of years old -, but I am finding out more and more about Aboriginal Astronomy. Aboriginal cultures across Australia date back to approximately 50.000 years ago and are believed to be the oldest continuous cultures in the world. Their relationship with astronomy has always been of great importance: Stories, myths and spirits were associated with star-constellations and patterns in the sky. However, their knowledge of the night sky by far exceeded that “spiritual component” and had a very practical – not to say existential – side to it. The positions of stars and planets helped the Aboriginals to create calendars. Calendars that would tell them when certain plants were ripe, waterholes were full and bird-eggs were laid and ready to be collected.


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