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Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve

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Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve - Central Australia
Just over 160 km south of Alice Springs is the Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve, covering an area of some 340 hectare. Home to some interesting sandstone formations that were created some 350 million years ago, when sandstone deposits were laid down in the area. With the action of wind and rain, the softer material eroded away leaving the harder sandstone material that make up the prominent features in the reserve. These landforms are remnant mesa, that is usually characterised by a flat 'tabletop', made of Devonian-Carboniferous sandstone.

The most recognised and photographed formation is Chambers Pillar itself, towering some 50 metres high above the surrounding plain. This huge sandstone pillar is known as Chambers Pillar (the Aboriginal name is 'Itirkawara'). There are two other prominent features in the reserve, Castle Rock ('Yayurara') and Window Rock ('Umarri').

This pillar was a very important landmark that guided the region's earliest pioneers as they travelled through the region.

Cultural Aboriginal Significance
A site of Aboriginal significance, Chambers Pillar and the surrounding region is part of Aboriginal dreamtime that speak of the knob-tailed gecko ancestor spirit, Itirkawara (pronounced it-turk-kar-wara). Itirkawara left the Finke River and journeyed north-east on his way home to his birth place. As he travelled, he grew stronger, a huge powerfully built man who had super human strength and an extreme violent temper. Such was his strength, he challenged and killed a number of ancestors with his stone knife.

Flushed with his success, he then took a girl for a wife, who under the strict marriage code was from the wrong skin group and forbidden. This enraged the relatives who promptly banished him and the girl.

Banished because of this behaviour, he brought the girl to these sandhills, where among the dunes they rested. At this spot where he sat down to rest and Itirkawara turned to stone (Chambers Pillar), while his female companion, crouching 500 metres away to the northeast, with her face turned away in shame, became Yayurara (Castle Rock).

For the southern Arrente Aboriginal Community, Chambers Pillar is a permanent reminder of the need to observe kinship laws.

Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve in the Central Australia Region - Snapshots from Australia

Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Central Military Dragon (Ctenophorus isolepis) at Chambers Pillar © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd
Central Military Dragon (Ctenophorus isolepis) at Chambers Pillar
 
Photos © Greg Sully / Ausemade Pty Ltd

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