CYLCON (YURDA) 1

MS 5087/08
MS Short Title CYLCON (YURDA) 1
Text CYLCON (YURDA), A TALLY WITH MARKS POSSIBLY RECORDING THE NUMBER OF YOUNG MEN TO PASS THE INITIATION RITUALS TO MANHOOD OF THE "BORA"
Description MS on chalk-like stone, Werenia, Bourke, New South Wales, Australia, ca. 20000-3000 BC, 1 oval-conical triangular cylcon slanting rounded base, 19x10x6 cm, 3 series of regularly longitudinal lines of 12+9+14 evenly spaced parallel dashes, half of the surface worn away due to weathering.
Provenance 1. Found in Werenia, Bourke, South West Wales, Australia (1969); 2. H. Gallasch Museum, Australia (1973-); 3. Sam Fogg Rare Books Ltd., London.
Commentary 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 20,000 - 3,000 BC

Location