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The "China Wall" of Abydos
Dotting the spinifex plains inland from Port Hedland are a number of quaint rock formations, mainly granite tors, in some of which enormous boulders appear to have been arranged in fantastic designs. Geologists speak of
a vast uplift oi the land mass, probably 300,000,000 years ago, followed by a subsid- ence and the gradual erosion of vast masses of sedimentary material, of which the remaining rocks are the less easily erodible portions. On Abydos sheep-station is a natural curiosity known locally as the "China Wall" (pictures above and right). Once, apparently, the hard core of an extensive rock formation, it consists of a mighty rampart of ferruginous shale resembling a mag- nified section of one of the "dry stone walls" used as fences on West Yorkshire farms. Although the wall is about ten feet in thickness there are many places where a rifle bullet could be shot through the spaces between the stones. Another peculiarity of the "China Wall" is that owing to the iron content of the boulders they will each ring like a blacksmith's anvil if a stone is thrown at them. A stone dropped from the top of the wall will produce a musical chime of many notes as it bounces downward. On the neigh- bouring station. Woodstock, rounded boulders of grey granite weighing many tons ar3 balanced apparently precariously one upon the other (picture below). The spot was apparently used as a rendezvous by the aborigines, and nearby rocks are decorated with crude rock drawings of human beings and "bungarras," the big monitor lizards which the dusky inhabitants of these inhospitable regions prized as food.
J. A. Mallett.