IRART goals

In 1891, Joseph Bradshaw first documented the rock paintings of the Northern Kimberley of Australia and to this date they still bare his name. Over a century later we still know very little about these ancient and most enigmatic paintings of pre-history.

According to some estimates, there may be a 100 000 of these images in existence. Only a small fraction of them are documented and very few actually studied. We believe these artists tell endless tales about the beginnings of time, the forces of Nature and how Man lived and died.

Our team endeavors to begin this magnificent but daunting task with vigor and imagination. Our goals are simple to outline but call for hard work and much support from those who share our commitment.

We believe that, as explorers we must start with those very basic tasks -charting and recording. Our results to date already provide data both provocative and illuminating and some even demonstrate possible ‘firsts’ in our pre-history.


We are bringing new and imaginative approaches into this field of research and we continue to hope that we will spark enthusiasm in others. New techniques in imaging promise to reveal never before seen depictions. Fresh statistical approaches to decipher the interplay of changing environment and people already promise to provide clues as to how these artistic and ancient people lived to give meaning to the images they meant to survive.