BEFORE he dies, Gosford City Council local studies librarian Geoff Potter
would like an answer to one of the Central Coast's great riddles.
What is the story behind the Egyptian-style hieroglyphs in Brisbane Water
National Park at Kariong?
"It's like the X-Files," Mr Potter said. "The truth is out there ? but
The Egyptian-style hieroglyphs are carved into rocks in a secluded part of
They cover an area about one metre deep and about five metres across.
Mr Potter has visited the site many times, after he was first told about the
hieroglyphs many years ago.
"A man came into the library one day and said: `What are you going to do
about them?'," Mr Potter said.
"I didn't know what he was talking about so I said: `Do about what?' ".
The man believed the carvings were made by Egyptians thousands of years ago.
"He is not alone. I've had people come in here who firmly believe these are
"I've got a file on it, there's been that much interest about it, and the
file's fairly thick.
"But it gives me nothing positive to go on to verify anything."
Various theories have floated around to explain the carvings.
They include that a group of university students carved them in the 1970s,
that they were carved by a family who used to live near the site, and the old
"There is a story about the site that two brothers came to Australia looking
for gold and silver and found eucalyptus instead," Mr Potter said.
"The story goes that one of the brothers was at Kariong and was bitten twice
by a snake and died there.
"I've heard of people trying to dig him up. You hear a lot of stories about
Look up Egyptian hieroglyphs on the internet and the Kariong site appears as
a popular "fern-dowsing" area, although Mr Potter is not quite sure what "fern
dowsing" actually involves.
Long time Egyptian theorist Rex Gilroy, who also championed a search for the
Tasmanian tiger in the Brisbane Water National Park 20 years ago, believes the
Phoenicians, and not the Egyptians, are responsible for the carvings.
"It's like an urban myth. One myth builds on another. Somewhere, there might
be a fact," Mr Potter said.
"What I'm hoping is that someone does know something definite about it and
could give me some solid evidence."
Mr Potter has his own, eminently sensible, theory about the origin of the
"I've seen them and I think there are two sections, one considerably older
than the other."
But he believes the oldest section is only 80 years old.
"Eighty years ago this section of the national park was fairly quiet," Mr
"If you were living in Gosford at the time and weren't into cricket, but if
you were a little bit more bookish, or alternative, it would have been an
extremely quiet area.
"Eighty years ago Egyptology was very big because of publicity about finding
"I think there was an alternative, bookish type interested in Egyptology who
found this quiet part of Kariong and had a lovely time chipping away, doing
their own gallery of hieroglyphs."
It is a theory as plausible as any other he has heard.
"I would love to know who did it and I would love to know why they did it and
I would love to find just a piece of evidence to back it up.
"I find it absolutely fascinating. One of these days someone will ring me up
and say `I did it'. That's what I hope."