We have decided that instead of publishing these four articles separately, it would serve a better purpose if they were presented together. The reason for doing so is simple, these articles as a collective describe in detail what is arguably the most important archaeological site in Australia. It has been claimed both in the national press and by local Original custodians that at this site Original Clever-fellas and Kadaitcha men came from all parts of the country to sing, dance and perform sacred ceremonies. There is, as far as we know, no parallel or precedent in including representatives from every tribe in Australia enacting rituals and singing songs in their language inside another tribe’s estate.
This site was proclaimed by Frederic Slater (President of the Australian Archaeological Society) to be “Australia’s Stonehenge.” Slater was mistaken, Stonehenge pales by comparison. Nobody has made claim that the alignments of stone pillars at Stonehenge contain “all knowledge that was, is and will be,” as Slater did when interpreting the alignments, shapes and markings on the 184 stones standing on what he felt was “the oldest religious mound in the world.”
Claimed by Slater and Original keepers of the Old Ways to be evidence of the first language spoken or recorded, it is not even the precedence or volume of vocabulary (Slater had a count of over 28,000 words) that was so amazing, but it is what was actually recorded for posterity that asks so many questions and opens up new horizons. The sentiments expressed and encouraged are as noble as they are enlightening. The narrative chronicled in stone runs counter to the traditional take on how language evolved. Scholars will have us believe that the first language spoken was crude in presentation and limited in content, focusing primarily upon the most elemental needs and issues that directly relate to eating and survival. Yet what was on display on this mound is the total opposite.
These tabernacles are as prophetic as they are illuminating, in that our first directives are devoted to refining the soul, in finding purpose and spiritual direction and conversing with the Creator.
Hidden from the public eye for close to 75 years, this holy site has been found again. The stones that stood on the mound are close by and we have a map charted just before the site was bulldozed recording the position of each rock and the associated meaning in the First Original tongue. The songs that activate the site have been given to the site recently, and this mound can be reclaimed and restored. The next four articles will run in sequence and will explain why this site is so special and utterly unique, and equally, why those in control refuse to even acknowledge this complex even exists.
This Original complex of “terraces, mounds and stone arrangements”, according to the President of the Australian Archaeological Research and Education Society, Frederic Slater, contained “the basis of all knowledge in the beginning, now and to come”.
I could offer commentary on logistics, measurements, the massive quantity of sandstone found in an area that includes only igneous geology, and the thousands of cubic metres of exotic material that makes up one mound. But we must first factor in the wisdom and guidance of the Original Elders and Custodians of Lore – ‘Uncle’ Harry, Jarmbi’je, Rob, Kevin, Iris, Karno, Adam, Mark, Scott and Darren – who joined us on site.
Invariably my team begins every investigation by consulting with those who speak on behalf of the people who were here first: the Original Australians. Only then, with a clear and present understanding of who, what, where, and to a lesser extent why, is it appropriate to walk on site and begin any archaeology or research.
As a group, we always work as a collective under the banner of Southern Law and Wirritjin (Black-fella White-fella Dreaming). No-one speaks for any individual, but with and on behalf of the entire group. That being the path taken, we will present what the Original Elders and Custodians said and did, without specifying who. This was always their way; no egos, all as one, therefore, no names just outcomes and possibilities.
First and foremost we will begin with an absolute fact: this site chronicles the very first language spoken or recorded. It has become increasingly clear before, during and upon reflection. The “Mystery of Life” was compiled and constructed by Homo sapien sapiens, and is a profound and sacred historical record detailing human origins, purpose and connection to the Divine.
Day 1: The “Old Ones”
From the moment we stepped onto the outer edge of this isolated site, nearly everyone sensed the presence of the “Old Ones” – the Spirit Guardians of the land. After all of the appropriate ceremonies were given and sensitive matters negotiated, the Elders and Custodians needed to go ahead first to have time to examine the site and be alone with the Guardians. Our team of close to 20 volunteers had to wait and bide their time, and hope permission would be granted to enter this sacred place.
The closer we got, the more the Original men called aloud to the “Old Ones”, stating both our intentions and deep respect. They sensed their presence and power, within and without. While most of the Original men were standing on the largest ridge, one of the Elders – a man of immense stature and knowledge of the Old Ways and Language – called on the Spirits of this sacred site for a sign.
What we got was so much more, spiralling overhead in ever increasing numbers.
Initially, three hawks came as summoned. But as appreciative as the Elder was, he called for more. A fourth, then a fifth bird joined the procession. With five hawks directly above them, the Elder was mightily pleased, but the tally was incomplete. He asked for six… then seven… but it was still one short of the number that most resembled the stone configuration on the mound, and the number that symbolised Wirritjin: eight. And so he asked for eight… and the last bird came. Finally, eight hawks circled above their heads as they stood gazing upwards on this most sacred mound.
There is no question… the omen from above was Heaven-sent.
Approval was given for us to continue, so I was directed to go back and bring those waiting some distance away. Since we had been on site for close to half an hour, I decided to run down the hill and at solid pace, and to keep that speed until my lungs gave out. As soon as I hit the flats, a shadow appeared barely a metre in front of me; it was one of the eight hawks. Always just a pace or two behind its shadow, I kept running, mindful that my feathered escort was setting the pace and urging me to hurry. My breathing was becoming more laboured and shallow, and sweat was trickling down my face. But I had no choice but to keep up with my pace-setting escort. It was only at the last gate, some 200 metres from our assembly point, that the hawk peeled off and resumed its normal duties.
With everyone finally gathered in one spot on a flat area between the mounds, all present were reminded before beginning that this was a place where Clever-fellas and Kadaitcha men (the spiritual men of Original people) sang and danced ceremonies of the highest order, communicating directly with the Spirits and the “Old Ones”.
Tasks were negotiated and it was time to begin. Originally it was my intention that we dig 5-7 small pits of between 50-100 cms width at a depth of 1-2 metres. My expectation was that five pits were to be dug near, on the very edge, and one very delicate excavation was to be positioned at the central point of the smaller 70 metre mound. But things changed on site. With no real idea of the function or role of this construction, the three most talented team members (both in terms of archaeology and sensitivity to energies – and hopefully to the Guardian Spirits) were sent to the top of the mound, just to see what would happen. It was a wise choice.
Two of the three couldn’t bring themselves to disturb the soil. They shared heart palpitations, an overwhelming sense of death, and an anguish that demanded they immediately down tools and leave. Ashen-faced and totally undone, they sought me and I immediately sent word up the ‘chain of command’, asking that two Original escorts join them on the mound. The outcome was, but shouldn’t have been, an unexpected turn of events; this was a burial site dedicated to the most revered Original men of high degree. Over thousands of years, and possibly much longer, the wisest and most spiritually advanced were lay in rest inside this 70 metre almost perfectly symmetrical burial mound.
(Temporarily jumping the story forward to three days ago… I was re-reading Slater’s notes and came upon a section I had previously highlighted and circled in black pen: Slater warmly praised his dedicated colleague for discovering “a burial ground” and declared it to be “a feather in your cap.” I thought: it may have seemed a mistake sending those team members up to the mound, but their response did confirm for us what Slater already knew.)
During our first break, I felt the timing was right to introduce an extremely unusual and obviously artificial shaped igneous rock of seven sides and messages. It was found by one of Original people on site that day and was fashioned by tools and technology supposedly absent in this continent before Cook. One of the Original Elders, a man stepped in ancient Lore, took some of the men to the top section of southern mound and asked us to decide the point we thought marked the centre-point of the southern circle. Our advisor then carefully placed the rock on the ground and shared with us six of the seven different messages/meanings. Alas, I was without pen or paper, and due to the overload of information, stories, hand signs and archaeology I only remember the four that related to the six seasons, solstice, direction and the exact position of the northern circle.
That night I kept sensing there was a need for speed, that the next day had to be quick and brief as we could be, and that no spade or shovel was to be part of this day.
Day 2: Setting Future Directions
On the second day an Original woman of considerable standing, and with a powerful connection to site, joined our party and took the non-Original woman away to assess her motivations, clarify her purpose and strengthen her contact to this sacred land. They then returned to continue counting rocks, a task they had the chance of completing in the time available.
The men in our party were broken into groups of two and three. A party of two was sent out to range along the ridges in search of sandstone, and found nothing that wasn’t igneous. Another group went out in search of a rumoured much smaller mound and found nothing, while the rest of us began the count of stones on the higher sections and plateau of the main ridge. The number of stones up high was in the hundreds and our records nowhere near complete, but our time on site was.
The team left and it was time to sit on country in a circle and set future directions. The Original woman spoke first, setting the tone and direction of what followed. She was relaying the wishes of one Spirit all seated held in the highest regard. She spoke of sharing culture or perishing, news of this place and its significance must be shared freely. An incredibly ancient and holy site of the highest order, from this point on every step taken and word uttered while on and near site has to be in accord with a sacred complex where the First Sacred Language was gifted to humanity, and men of the very highest calibre were interred.
We talked for hours and came to a consensus on all issues. All were agreed that these hallowed grounds and arrangements sat on Ngarkwal (Ngarakwal or Ngarkbul) land, which was part of a massive Southern Law confederation that covers close to half the continent. We agreed that future actions must be made in accord with the principles of Wirritjin; Black-fella White-fella Dreaming. We also agreed that the sites’ location and identity of the present owners will be kept secret, and that no-one must even consider approaching this site unless given proper ceremony; it would be both offensive and dangerous to do otherwise.
In concluding the Original Elders’ and Custodians’ case, it is fitting to refer back to the very first narrative created at this place, which, according to Frederic Slater, “explains the journey of man through life and the immortality of the soul.” Here is a brief and random sampling of what the Ancient Ones thought about and meditated upon.
“Enter and learn the Truth of the Divine Light.”
“The breath of God is the Divine light of the Soul.”
“The soul of man came from the immortal light to drink the water of life from God.”
“Guided by truth man came to earth through darkness from the light of life that shines far off.”
With an Original foundation set into stone, hand signs, hawks above and the Spirits’ consent, my next article will be an account of the archaeology, measurements, angles, tally of sandstone rocks and foreign technology used on site. It contradicts so much that has been written, not only about Original but world pre-history.
[Read the next article in the series: The Basis of All Knowledge? Australia’s Stonehenge May Re-Write World History]
Steven Strong is an Australian-based researcher, author and former high school teacher with a background in archaeology. He was involved in the formation of a Graduate Diploma of Aboriginal Education for the NSW Department of Education, writing units on Traditional Law and Contemporary History. He also co-authored the highly successful “Aboriginal Australia: A Language and Cultural kit” and has written over a dozen articles on Original history and lore for the National Indigenous Times, with four articles also appearing in New Dawn magazine.
Evan Strong is a researcher, historian and author with a Bachelor degree in the Social Sciences, majoring in psychology and archaeology/anthropology.
Together they have co-written 4 books: Constructing a New World Map, Mary Magdalene’s Dreaming, and Forgotten Origin (published by University Press of America) and their latest publication Shunned, which thoroughly refutes the Out-of-Africa theory of human history and examines the archaeological and DNA evidence that suggests Australia is where modern human beings derived.
With close to 30 years of contact with original Gumilaroi people and tribes of the Bundjalung Language Confederation, and the benefit of extensive consultation with many Original Elders, Steve and Evan’s work is to reveal the ancient story of the Original people, a narrative that was almost lost to aggressive European colonisation.
For more information visit ForgottenOrigin.com