This book was commenced in 1964 and was intended to be a collaboration between the anthropologist Charles Mountford and the artist and author Ron Edwards.
The plan was that Edwards would explore north Queensland to record rock art sites and send the results to South Australia to Mountford, whose part in the project was to interpret the material sent to him. Unfortunately Mountford died in 1976 and any writing that he may have done for the book seems to have vanished. The project was then abandoned, but in 2007 Edwards discovered that some of the art that he had recorded forty years earlier had faded from sight, and other examples had been destroyed. Realising that the drawings that he had made all those years ago might now be the only evidence of many of the sites it was decided to publish the drawings, and the field notes that went with them, as a historical record.