petroglyphs in BC

Rock carvings and paintings are found throughout the inhabited world. In British Columbia alone, over 500 examples of this type of archaeological site have been recorded, more than in any other province in Canada.

Last week, on our way to the west coast of Vancouver Island, we stopped to look at a site at Sproat Lake Provincial Park. Like most petroglyphs, it had worn down considerably but still was a fairly impressive sight, like a mural carved on a rock face on the edge of the lake, the lowest images partly submerged. Below is one photo of this, the details are even harder to see here as the light conditions were not ideal.


On our return journey we stopped at Petroglyph Provincial Park, Nanaimo. This was most disappointing because the numerous rocks scattered on the lovely hill were quite worn down. Concrete castings had been made of the originals but these were also quite worn and hard to decipher (the website’s photo was misleading). It was rather sad to see the results of weathering and especially the vandalism and sometimes a lack of enough care and appreciation.

I have used some BC petroglyph images from Hornby Island, in some of the Paths series and a few of the Nexus series of prints. Can you find them?

April 28, 2004 in Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Rock Art & Archaeology by Marja-Leena