Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada
Pétroglyphes de Peterborough
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located in Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada is a broad shelf of exposed marble located in a woodland setting in Peterborough, Ontario. Inscribed across the marble are hundreds of realistic human and animal forms, as well as numerous abstract and symbolic images, which were carved between 900-1400 C.E. The official recognition refers to the Historic Zone of the Provincial Park.
Peterborough Petroglyphs were designated a national historic site of Canada in 1981 because:
- it is one of the largest known concentrations of pre-contact rock carvings in Canada.
Situated on an outcrop of white marble on the Canadian Shield, the Peterborough Petroglyphs site is one of the largest known concentrations of pre-contact rock carvings in Canada. Several hundred images comprising a wide variety of realistic animal and human forms, as well as abstract and symbolic representations, give evidence of the spiritual and intellectual life of the Algonkian Indians who carved them between 900 - 1400 C.E. This site is a sacred place and a monument to their artistic ability and sensitivity.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 2005; plaque text, November 1984.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the expanse of exposed rock in its current location in its naturalistic setting of woodland and water;
- the wide variety of realistic animal and human forms, as well as abstract and symbolic imagery.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Philosophy and Spirituality
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Aboriginal Ritual Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec.
Cross-Reference to Collection