The Dendroglyphs, or 'Carved Trees' of New South Wales

R. Jnr Etheridge

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Format: hardback
192 pages
ISBN: 9781920899769

Publication: 01 Dec 2011

Publisher: Sydney University Press

Aboriginal people of New South Wales carved trees as a form of visual communication for thousands of years. These elaborate designs carved into the sapwood and heartwood of trees once a section of external bark was removed - were meant to last. Sadly, after European colonisation, the practice was abandoned and the original meanings lost.

First published in 1918, this 2011 facsimile edition has a new cover, half-title page and reduced size map. Published by Sydney University Press in conjunction with the State Library of NSW.

Robert Etheridge, Jr. (1847-1920) was a British palaeontologist and curator of the Australian Museum from 1895-1919.

Part 1: general remarks
1. Introduction
2. Brief history
3. Classification
4. Terminology
5. Method of production

Part 2: taphoglyphs (inhumation, ‘carved-trees’ or grave indicators)
1. Object of taphoglyphs
2. Non-decorative
3. How prepared
4. Sites – how situated
5. Number of taphoglyphs to an interment
6. Position in relation to individual graves
7. No trace of tree-worship
8. Not connected with worship of the dead
9. Designs portrayed and compared
10. Comparison of motive with that of weapons and implements
11. Meaning of the designs on glyphs
12. Antiquity
13. Distribution
14. Remarks on distribution

Part 3: teleteglyphs or bora-trees
1. Object of teleteglyphs
2. Mode of preparation and size
3. Sites
4. Number to a site
5. Positions at a site
6. Designs portrayed
7. Explanation of motive
8. Distribution
9. Remarks on distribution

Part 4: Melville and Bathurst Islands burial posts

Part 5: possible sources of the culture

1. Kruben and Koen
2. Supposed traces of agriculture
3. Stone structures



'Sydney University and the State Library are to be commended on reprinting this volume. It makes accessible an important and beautiful aspect of Aboriginal culture that has been mostly lost and, until now, largely forgotten.'
Jeannette Hope   Australian Archaeology

Format: hardback
Size: 297 × 210 × 17 mm
192 pages
38 black and white plates - photographs and drawings of the carved trees. also a fold-out map of nsw.
Copyright: © 2011
ISBN: 9781920899769
Publication: 01 Dec 2011