Cultural Landscape, Sites and Artefacts

Photo of stone arrangements at Namadgi

Artefacts, cultural sites and other evidence of Aboriginal occupation in the ACT are all extremely important to the Ngunnawal people.

Whilst some places were used for ceremonial or initiation grounds, the great majority of Aboriginal places relate to the pursuance of everyday activities such as camping. Never the less, all sites are regarded as sacred to Aboriginal people as they provide a physical link to their ancestors, heritage and culture.

Some Aboriginal heritage sites are of great antiquity and have been dated to long before the European occupation of Australia. Other sites have been dated to within the last 200 years or so. Some places of significance to Aboriginal people include contemporary places where events of importance have only taken place recently.

Many Aboriginal heritage places have been discovered as a result of archaeological and heritage surveys and information provided by the local Aboriginal community. Others have been reported by interested members of the public who have come across them in their everyday activities, such as bushwalking. At present there are more than 3,000 known Aboriginal heritage places in the ACT, although the whole of the ACT has not been subject to comprehensive surveying, so there is no complete record of all the Aboriginal places that could be in the Territory. Sites recorded include:Photo of interperation talk

  • scar trees;
  • grinding grooves;
  • rock shelters;
  • stone arrangements and artefacts;
  • rock art; and 
  • Ngunnawal tools and weapons.

Aboriginal cultural interpretation activities on the use of plants, tools and weapons in the ACT region give an insight into local Ngunnawal culture and foster respect for the Aboriginal sites and Traditional Custodians of the area.

Ranger guided activities and cultural awareness programs are held at various locations, and provide hands on interpretive experience of local Aboriginal culture.

Please respect Aboriginal heritage sites and objects. It is an offence to damage, disturb or destroy Aboriginal heritage places and objects.