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Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada

Otonabee-South Monaghan, Ontario, K0L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/06/16

Detail view of the petroglyphs at Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1993.
Detail view
Detail view of the petroglyphs at Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1993.
Detail view
Detail view of the petroglyphs at Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1993.
Detail view

Other Name(s)

Peterborough Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada
Peterborough Petroglyphs
Pétroglyphes de Peterborough

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/13

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.

Heritage Value

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.

Character-Defining Elements

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.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1980/06/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Historic or Interpretive Site

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Aboriginal Ritual Site

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

487

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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