Anishinaabe Pictograph Sites In Quebec

In Anishinaabe Pictograph Sites of the The Canadian Shield I provided an introduction to what has become a series of posts on native Indian rock painting sites in the Canadian Shield area.  Originally one long and unwieldy post, it has since been divided into individual posts for each of the provinces or U.S. border states where the pictographs are found. This should make the search for specific sites that much easier.  

N.B. A click on  blue text leads to a map,  additional info and/or image.  A click on an image will enlarge it.

Québec:

click on map to enlarge - see here for an explanation of the Borden code system used to identify these Quebec sites

click on map to enlarge – see here for an explanation of the Borden code system used to identify these Quebec sites

The Québec contemporary of Selwyn Dewdney was Gilles Tassé; together they released a study or two on rock art in Quebec in the 1970’s. The current leading Quebec researcher is Daniel Arsenault of the Université du Québec à Montreal.   Here is a list of some of his various publications.  Click on the following article title (Les Sites d’Art Rupestre au Québec) to see an online example of his work. (Scroll down to see the actual article.)  Radio Canada in 2015 did a brief news story on  Arsenault and his work titled Des sites d’art rupestre découverts en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.


Update (Nov 2016): Last week I was shocked and saddened to hear of the accidental death of Prof. Arsenault, his wife, and his son in a car crash this past July. See here for the funeral home notice. A devastating loss to his family and to his colleagues and students – and to the wider community of those interested in L’Art Rupestre au Quebec and beyond.

daniel-arsenault-death-notice


Arsenault uses the term  “rupestre”  to cover rock art in general, with “pictogrammes” (a bit different from the English term “pictographs”)  and “petroglyphes” as the sub-categories.   If you’re going to use the Google translation service to help you through the article, do note that the term “rupestre” is translated misleadingly as “cave”! In the brief paper mentioned above and published in 1994, Arsenault wrote that unlike Ontario with its 500+ pictograph sites, the province of Quebec only had six!  In a more recent interview (2009) he mentioned that twenty sites have now been confirmed. Here are the ones I have found mention of –

 

Pictograph Sites

1. Site EiGf-2, Jamésie.  the Kaapehpeshapischinikamuuch Site

Lac Nemiskau – eastern James Bay area – a part of the Rupert River system; confirmed in the mid-1990’s;  #2 site in Quebec in terms of importance/ the site is  located in the NW section of the lake; see also here Dewdney’s notes on his failed attempt to locate this site.

The most comprehensive discussion –  Pascale Vaillancourt’s 2003 Université Laval doctoral thesis on the site – can be accessed  here. The appendix (Annexe E) has a good set of pictures.

2. Site DcGt-41, Abitibi

Lac Duparquet – location not specified

3. Site and 4.  mixte DaGu-1 and DaGv-16, Abitibi

Lac Buies – exact location here

5. Site CcGh-18, Témiscamingue

Dumoine River – location not specified

6. Site CaGh-2, Outaouais

Rocher a l’Oiseau / Oiseau Rock on the Ottawa River across from Chalk River.  See also here and a link to info on the 54-min. documentary Great River (2010) by Matt Lemay here. Il y a quelque chose en français ici.

7. Site BlFs-2, Outaouais. Cap Manitou site

Lac Simon (Cap Manitou)

8. Site CdFg-5, Mauricie

Lac Wapizagonke – discussed here and in the news here with an image

9. Site DeEh-1, Côte-Nord.  the Nisula Site

Lac Cassette (Pepeshapissinikan) – The site is about 15 kilometers northwest of Forestville. Confusion may be caused if you search for a “Lac de la Cassette”; there is one on the other side of the St. Lawrence.  See this Google Map here for the two different lakes.

See here for some pix and the story (n Finnish and English) of how Anne Nisula found the site in 1985 and then waited a decade for its significance  to be confirmed.

Nisula Site lines and figures

Panel II – lines and human figures at what Arsenault calls the main panel

Another source of information is the chapter (pp. 344-359)  by Daniel Arsenault in The Rock-Art of Eastern North America: Capturing Images and Insight  (2004) edited by Carol Diaz-Granados and James R. Duncan. The chapter, entitled Analyzing and Dating the Nisula Site”,  can be read on-line  (except for two pages) at Google Books – see here.

Nisula Site Map and GPS coordinates

Nisula Site Map and GPS coordinates – click on map to enlarge

This Youtube video also has images o the Nisula site.

From the analysis, it would seem that the pictographs at this site date back about 2000 years and are much older than the rock paintings found at the other sites in Quebec and most of the the sites on the Canadian Shield.

Petroglyph Sites:

A. Site DaGt-3, Abitibi; also Site DaGt-10

Lac Opasatica – site mentioned in an Arsenault study referred to here – fourth study down

B. Site BiEx-19, Estrie –  the Brompton Site …no information at present

C.  Site DbEu-1, Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean  . …no information at present

update – also sites in the Hudson Strait area – JhEv-1

??? information needed – St. Maurice River (upper watershed) – exact location not specified

You can access an article by Serge Lemaitre here. It is in both French and English and provides good summary  information and gps co-ordinates  on the following five sites – Lac Bluies;  Rocher-a-l’Oiseau;  Lac Simon; Lac Wapizagonke; and the Nisula site at Lac Casette.

Any contributions from readers to make this list of Quebec pictograph sites more useful and accurate will be much appreciated.  Vous pouvez corresponder avec moi en franćais.       true_north@mac.com

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Your comments and questions are always appreciated, as are any suggestions on how to make this post more useful to future travellers. Just drop me a line or two!

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