Australia’s Stonehenge Resurrected Part 2: Original Elders and Custodians on Site
This Original complex of “terraces, mounds and stone arrangements,” according to the President of the Australian Archaeological Research and Education Society, Frederic Slater, contained “the basis of all knowledge in the beginning, now and to come.”
Before offering any commentary on logistics, measurements, the massive quantity of sandstone found in an area that denies any geology that isn’t igneous, or the thousands of cubic metres of exotic material that makes up one mound, we must first factor in the wisdom and guidance of the Original Elders and Custodians of Lore (Uncle Harry, Jarmbi’je, Rob, Kevin, Iris, Karno, Adam, Mark, Scott and Darren) who joined us on site. Invariably we begin every investigation after consulting with those who speak on behalf of the people who were here first. Only then, with a clear and present understanding of who, what, where, and to a lesser extent why, is it appropriate to walk on site and begin any archaeology.
We always work as a collective under the banner of Southern Law and Wirritjin (Black-fella White-fella Dreaming). No-one speaks for any individual, but with, and on behalf of the entire group. That being the only path taken, we will present what the Original Elders and Custodians said and did without specifying who. This was always the only way, no egos, all as one, therefore, no names just outcomes and possibilities.
First and foremost we will begin with an absolute fact. Before, during and upon reflection, it has become increasingly clear that this site chronicles the very first language spoken or recorded. The “Mystery of Life” was compiled and constructed by Homo sapien sapiens, and is a profound and sacred historical record detailing human origins, purpose and connection to the Divine.
From the moment we stepped onto the outer edge of this isolated site nearly everyone sensed the presence of the “Old Ones.” After all the appropriate ceremonies were given and sensitive matters negotiated, the Elders and Custodians needed to go ahead first to have time to examine the site and be alone with the Guardians. Our team of close to 20 volunteers had to wait and bide their time and hope permission would be granted to enter this sacred place.
The closer we got the more the original men called aloud to the “Old Ones,” stating both our intentions and deep respect. They sensed their presence and power within and without. While most of the Original men were standing on the largest ridge, one of the Elders, a man of immense stature and knowledge of the Old Ways and Language, called on the Spirits of this sacred site for a sign.
What they got was so much more. They just kept on spiraling in ever increasing numbers. Three hawks came as summoned, appreciative as the Elder was he called for more. A fourth, then fifth bird joined the procession. With five hawks directly above them, the Elder was mightily pleased, but the tally was incomplete. He asked for six, then seven, but it was still one short of the number that most resembled the stone configuration on the mound and symbolised Wirritjin: eight. And so the last bird came, eight hawks circled above their heads as they stood gazing upwards on this most sacred mound.
The omens from above were Heaven-sent, and approval was given so I was directed to go back and bring all those waiting some distance away. Since we had been on site for close to half an hour, I decided to run down the hill and at solid pace and keep at that speed until my lungs gave out. As soon as I hit the flats a shadow appeared barely a metre in front of me, it was one of the eight hawks. Always just a pace or two in front I kept running mindful that my feathered escort was setting the pace and urging me to hurry. My breathing was becoming more labored and shallow, and sweat was trickling down my face, but I had no choice but keep up with my pace-setter. It was only at the last gate, some 200 metres from our assembly point, did the hawk peel off and resume normal duties.
With everyone gathered in one spot on a flat area between the mounds, tasks were negotiated and all were reminded before beginning that this was a place where Clever-fellas and Kadaitcha men sang and danced ceremonies of the highest order, communicating directly with the Spirits and the “Old Ones.” Originally it was my intention that we dig 5-7 small pits of between 50-100 cms width at a depth of 1-2 metres. My expectation was that five pits were to be dug near, on the very edge, and one very delicate excavation was intended to be positioned at the central point of the smaller 70 metre mound. But with no real idea of the function or role of this construction, the three most talented in both archaeology and sensitivity to the activities and signs laid down by the Guardian Spirits when on site were sent to the top of the hill to see what happened. It was a wise choice.