Madjedbebe Rock Shelter

Madjedbebe Nambal Nanggurr

Madjedbebe, aerial view, 2012. The rock art can be found at the very base of the rock face.

Photograph by Matthew Abbott.

May K. Sally et al, 2017, The rock art of Madjedbebe (Malakunanja II), In book: The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia, 87-107, ANU Press, (eds.) Bruno David, Paul S.C. Tacon, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Jean-Michel Geneste

Language Points

Guugu Yimithirr

Madjedbebe bubu Northern Territorywi, Arnhem Landbi. Nguba yiyi warra bubu muguul-muguul wanhthaa bama nhin-gay. Thana scientistsngun gurralal bamaal nanggurr start-use-im-gurray gaarbaarr 65,000–53,000 years ago. Ngutha-ngutha yiyi bubu waguurrga, 200 km thalunngan. Nhila thalun yubaaygu-manaathi, nhila Madjedbebe 50 km thalunngan.

Yiway scientistsngun waami mayi warra muguul-muguul, thana bama muguul-muguul mayi baaway. Bubu gujin Mirrar Warra bubu Madjedbebe banyjilnyjil.

English

Possibly the oldest place we know people stayed at is Madjedbebe in the Northern Territory / Arnhem Land. Scientists think people started using this rock shelter 65,000-53,000 years ago. At the time this site was about 220km from the coast. Today it is only 50km inland.

Here scientists have found the oldest plant food in the country that the ancestors cooked on the fire so long ago. Madjedbebe is managed by the Mirrar traditional owners.