Day: April 2, 2021

Aussie researchers using machine learning to analyse rock art


Young Dakal clan landowner Desmond Lindsay visits this site on his country for the first time. Most sites are remote and often impossible to even approach closely by vehicle.

Image: Mimal Land Management Aboriginal Corporation (MLMAC)

South Australian researchers have been working with the Mimal and Marrku traditional owners of the Wilton River area in Australia’s Top End to analyse the evolution of rock art through machine learning.

The study, led by Flinders University archaeologist Dr Daryl Wesley, saw the group test different styles of rock art of human figures in Arnhem Land labelled “northern running figures”, “dynamic figures”, “post dynamic figures”, and “simple figures with boomerangs” to understand how the styles relate to one another. 

The team used machine learning to analyse images of rock art collected during surveys in Marrku country in 2018 and 2019.  

The approach used previously trained and published convolutional neural network models and dataset

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