8 Amazing Images of Uluru

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6. The Caves

Uluru was formed by the deposit of sediment from areas further south in Australia, then thrust up into a mountain; it probably stood much higher than its current 1,142 feet. Erosion has played a significant role throughout the inselberg’s history; rain washes away parts of the formation, making deep pathways in the rockface, and high winds whisk away loose sediment and speed erosion. These processes have contributed to the formation of caves in the monolith. Many of the fissures and cracks in the rock have spiritual significance for the local Anangu people. The largest of the caves have been sacred sites for generations, and many have ancient rock art etched onto their walls as a testament to their spiritual importance. Many of these sites are considered “forbidden” by the Anangu, particularly depending on one’s sex, and so may be off-limits to visitors.

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5. Rock Art

People first arrived in the area around Uluru an estimated 10,000 years ago, or perhaps even before then. Uluru, with its height and deep hues, quickly became a sacred site for the people who lived in the area. Today, the local Anangu people are the keepers of this history. As the Traditional Owners of Uluru, they ask that visitors not climb Uluru, as the path crosses one of the sacred Dreamtime tracks, and they request that tourists not take photos in certain areas, in order to protect Anangu people from encountering images of “forbidden” sites in the outside world. Some aspects of the myths the Anangu tell about Uluru are captured in the rock art; other images have different spiritual and sacred meanings. The art serves as a reminder that we are not the first ones to be inspired by Uluru.

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