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1pm - 4pm



Symposium on rock art, archaeology and indigenous astronomy with local experts, researchers and astrophysicist.

Rock, Stone and Sky bring in individual and overlapping fields of enquiry - from rock art mapping to archaeological fieldwork in the Mangrove Creek Valley, and tracing the pathways of the celestial emu. 


Enjoy a light lunch in the Thai Garden prior to the symposium

Symposium and river cruise can be purchased together. 

Combined tickets at 10% discount


Rock Art Lifelong Research
Bob Pankhurst

Robert 'Bob' Pankhurst has spent the last 60 years exploring areas around the Central Coast on foot and horseback, including Somersby, Mangrove, and the Hawkesbury river for Aboriginal rock engravings. He will share his own experiences of some of the rich Aboriginal engravings, stencils and grinding grooves of the area. Bob has collaborated with traditional knowledge holders, archaeologists and researchers from the indigenous astronomy group to build up comprehensive knowledge of sites around Darkinjung and Guringai country.

Bob Pankhurst is a Central Coast rock art enthusiast who has visited and recorded Aboriginal engraving sites all over the Central Coast.


Archaeology of Mangrove

The Central Coast has a large number of Aboriginal sites: these include rockshelters with archaeological deposit and pigment images, open rock engraving sites and grinding grooves. Excavations have revealed stone artefact sequences dating back 13,000 years in the Mangrove Creek Valley. A significant archaeological site with basalt intrusions has also been investigated at Popran Creek-Peats Ridge. An overview of the significance of these findings will be presented with discussion of the distribution of stone artefacts, tools and weapons. The research honours the ​contribution of Dr Val Attenbrow including her research at and above the Mangrove Creek dam site before its inundation.


Emu Dreaming
Dr Ray Norris

Ray Norris is well known for his work on the astronomy of Aboriginal Australians

which has featured in many radio and TV programs, including ABC TV's Message Stick, and ABC Radio National's The First Astronomers. Guided by first national elders Ray describes how star maps are a way of travelling information and waypoints in a network of relationship between sky, food and seasonal activity. Ray presents his work on the emu in the sky one of Australia’s most famous dark constellations and how the alignment of the celestial emu relates to position and directionality of emu engravings on the ground citing examples from the Greater Sydney and Central Coast area. 

Dr Ray Norris, Emeritus Fellow at CSIRO is an astrophysicist and science communicator who researches the evolution of the Universe, and the astronomy of Aboriginal Australians.


Light lunch in the Thai Garden

In Spencer village enjoy a light lunch specially prepared by the chef of Spencer Thai Mr One. Join us in the ambiance of the Thai garden at a charming local eatery for authentic Thai finger food and noodles.

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