Museum Field Trips: Devil's Lair

Article | Updated 4 months ago

An important part of our Anthropology and Archaeology Department’s work is helping to care for culturally significant sites in Western Australia.

These particular photos were taken when Annie, Ross, and Xavier, with members of the Wardandi community, recently visited Devil's Lair—an important cultural and archaeological site located on the lands of the Wardandi peoples.

Devil’s Lair is one of the oldest recorded Aboriginal sites in Australia. Its incredibly deep soil deposits contain archaeological evidence that helps to tell the story of Aboriginal occupation in the area almost 50,000 years ago.

To put that time scale in perspective the Great Pyramids of Egypt were only built around 4,500 years ago!

Owing to the favourable preservation conditions in the cave deposits, the site also provides important evidence of changes in the surrounding landscape during periods of extreme environmental flux.

We take field trips to the sites like Devil's Lair to reconnect with the traditional custodians of the area and to document and manage any damage that may have occurred.

By working with Wardandi people and stakeholders such as Department of Parks and Wildlife, we try to make sure that cultural sites like Devil’s Lair are preserved so that the knowledge they hold, and their natural and cultural significance is retained for future generations.

Devil's Lair was so named as it contains the bones and refuse of Tasmanian devils!

This includes stone and bone tools, food refuse, and hearths.

I.E. flora and fauna.