Archaeological Excavation

Introduction to Archaeology
Rain Forest Vegetation
Buried Streams
Shell Middens
Food Cache
Dog Burial
Warrior Cache
Petroglyphs and Pictographs

Tsimshian Society and Culture

Tsimshian Villages

Archaeological Excavation

Petroglyphs and Pictographs

Pictographs - 64381 Images of a face and seven coppers, painted in red ochre on a vertical rock wall were an "advertisement" for a local chief from the Tyee area of the lower Skeena River.

Images carved and painted on rocks anchored the rich mythology of the Tsimshian people to the landscape of Prince Rupert harbour. The petroglyphs (carved images) and pictographs (painted images) will forever bear witness to the teachings and triumphs of the culture heroes of the Tsimshian.

Shamans often carved images of supernatural beings or themselves on vertical rock faces at secluded spots in the forest. This was done by slowly pecking away the bedrock with a pointed pebble of harder stone.

The images shown here include scenes of shamans communing with grizzly bears, who represented the messengers to the spirit masters of fish and game. The bears enticed the spirits to release more fish and game for the shaman's people to hunt and trap.