CYLCON (YURDA), POSSIBLY WITH MAP OF DARLING RIVER

MS 5087/36
MS Short Title CYLCON (YURDA), POSSIBLY WITH MAP OF DARLING RIVER
Text CYLCON (YURDA), POSSIBLY WITH MAP OF DARLING RIVER WITH THE TRIBUTARIES WARREGO RIVER AND CULGOA RIVER
Description MS on chalk-like stone, Fords Bridge, Bourke, New South Wales, Australia, ca. 20000-3000 BC, 1 oval-conical and cornute form cylcon, flat base, 22x7x7 cm, paired parallel lines, groups of small dashes, longitudinal deep incisions, rows of dashes, heavy weathering on one side.
Provenance 1. Found in Kerribree, Fords Bridge, Bourke, New South Wales, Australia 1970; 2. H. Gallasch Museum, Australia (1973-); 3. Sam Fogg Rare Books Ltd.
Commentary The finding spot at Fords Bridge on Warrego River near Bourke, is in the north-west corner of this possible map. A series of small dashes between Fords Bridge and where Clog River meets Darling River, indicates a possible shortcut route, instead of following the river. Present day's river courses have changed directions and are more curved, with several smaller tributaries to the South, than the present map shows. The expected dramatic changes in river courses and climate since 5 000 - 20 000 years ago, makes it impossible to prove with certainty that this is a map and of this area. If this is a map, it is the world's oldest. The heavy weathering on the side that has been exposed, has entirely extinguished the marks on that side, attesting to the extreme age of this cylcon. Cylcons are earlier than churingas. There is no certain ways to date individual cylcons. The oldest cylcon/message stone found in a dateable archaeological context is about 20,000 years old. The simple line motifs of the oldest cylcons represent the earliest art of the Aborigines, from a very early period of occupation. In Australian nomenclature this is the colonizing period, or early Stone Age, ca. 50,000/40,000-3,000 BC. With the earliest rock-carvings and -paintings, the cylcons represent the oldest form of communication and art; and they represent the oldest religion still observed. Only 2 Aborigines have been able to communicate their name of the cylcons: Yurda, and Wommagnaragnara (Heart of the snake), respectively. Other uses as tallies are possible, such as counting of dead people, warriors, emus, measures of nardo seeds, or mapping purposes counting day-marches in various directions. Later the use could also change to other magic rituals, some involving the chipping off smaller flakes, and the practical use for pounding and crushing. Much more research is needed before the cylcons' real age and significance can be properly understood and appreciated. The term cylcon is derived from the title of R. Ethridge's publication: The Cylindro-conical and Stone Implements of Western New South Wales and their significance. Ethnological Series No. 2, Memoirs of the Geological Survey of New South Wales, 1916:1-41.
Place of origin Australia
Dates ca. 20000-3000 BC

Location