Petroglyphs on the Periphery: Rock Art in the Canadian Maritimes

Author(s): Bryn Tapper

Year: 2018


Ongoing investigation of the Algonquian rock art of the Canadian Maritimes reveals that while some sites, such as Kejimkujik Lake, are well documented as a result of longstanding conservation strategies, these and other petroglyph sites have yet to be adequately and comprehensively framed within their archaeological, ethnohistorical and ethnographic contexts.

Combining a landscape archaeology approach with theoretical positions emerging from the ‘ontological turn’ in archaeology, my research seeks to investigate the petroglyphs at various interrelated scales - from motif, to panel, to site, to landscape setting - in order to better understand the different functional and ideological levels at which these phenomena operated. Formal approaches using computational photography, principally Highlight Reflectance Transformation Imaging and photogrammetry, are employed to revisit known sites, test earlier interpretations, and to document new sites. Additionally, ethnohistories and ethnographies sought through collaboration with Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik First Nations are used to articulate indigenous narratives alongside archaeological understandings of the petroglyphs.

These complimentary approaches seek to inform how indigenous concepts of landscape, the environs of the rock art site, the material conditions of the rock surfaces, as well as the content and composition of the images engraved, combine to make socially significant places in the landscape.

Cite this Record

Petroglyphs on the Periphery: Rock Art in the Canadian Maritimes. Bryn Tapper. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444365)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.504; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -51.68; max lat: 73.328 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20440