Aboriginal Stone Artefacts and Arrangements

Photo of scattered artefacts

Stone artefact scatters

Stone artefact scatters are made of highly durable material and are common in the ACT region. Stone artefacts are at times found in association with other material such as the remains of campfires which are evidenced by concentrations of charcoal, burnt rocks and burnt clay. Stone artefact scatters may range from isolated artefacts to extensive, high-density scatters covering several hectares with hundreds of artefacts. They may result from a single intensive occupation event, or be built up over hundreds or thousands of years from repeated visits or occupation of a particular area.

Photo of stone quarry

Quarry/stone source

An Aboriginal quarry is a site where Aboriginal people extracted raw materials for making stone artefacts, and may also include ochre quarries. There may be evidence of extraction in the form of artificial cleavage from outcrops, excavated holes and/or stone artefacts. The rock types most suited to stone artefact manufacture include silcretes, quartz, chert and fine-grained volcanics. Ochre sources are highly valued for their contribution of pigment for personal decoration and use in rock art painting. Red, white and black were sourced locally in the ACT region.

Photo of stone arrangements at Namadgi

Ceremonial sites/stone arrangements

Some Aboriginal sacred places were used for initiations, important rituals and as meeting places. Some ceremonial sites have a deliberate placement of rocks and stones in circles or long straight lines. Ceremonial sites may also be associated with stone artefacts and/or earthworks, such as the removal of surface pebbles. It is also possible for ceremonial sites to occur with no visible alteration of the landscape. There are not many registered ceremonial sites in the ACT and those that have been recorded usually occur in the high country of Namadgi National Park.


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