Sask. Bison help archaeologists discover ‘rare’ 1,000-year-old petroglyphs


Rock carvings from more than a thousand years ago have been discovered in Wanuskewin Heritage Park.

Ernie Walker, Wanuskewin’s chief archaeologist, made the rare discovery with the help of a herd of bison.

Last summer, Walker was feeding bison in the grass – about 800 meters west of the Wanuskewin building.

He looked down at the ground the bison was rolling in and saw a rock peeking through the dirt.

Upon further investigation, Walker noticed that the rock had grooves in a definite pattern and identified it as a petroglyph.

“I was trying not to have a heart attack because I didn’t expect it,” Walker told reporters at Friday’s rock premiere.

Walker believes that the natives carved the rock more than a thousand years ago.

The carving is known as a “rib stone,” which Walker says resembles the bone of a bison and symbolizes fertility.

Walker surveyed the area in the 1980s and didn’t find anything. He believes the bison, who was brought to the park in 2019, revealed the discovery.

“They discovered it, just with their normal activity,” says Walker.

“I like to think it’s their message that they’re happy to be here.”

Days after discovering the rib, Walker and his team found three more petroglyphs and tools used to create the carvings.

“This is extremely important and very unusual,” Walker said.

The archaeologist said the width of the carved rock matches the width of the grooves in the rock.

He said that carving tools are rare to find.

“You never get it,” he said.

“Who did it, left it there or lost it, perhaps over a thousand years ago. I like to think it’s their business card. They left their business cards here.”

The petroglyphs and carving tools, protected by glass, are on display in the park’s building.

Ernie Walker believes the bison, who was brought to the park in 2019, revealed the discovery. (Chad Hills / CTV News)


Wanuskewin is in the process of being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With this rare find, Park Executive Darlene Brander said Wanuskewin is one step away from achieving the designation.

“It was very important and monumental,” said Brander.

She says the petroglyphs are the missing piece in the UNESCO application.

Wanuskewin aims to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site by 2025.

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button