The tribes of Canada, primarily the Blackfoot people, told their histories and stories through rock carving Alberta. Often these pieces of art work included animals such as bison, wolves, and bears. Other carvings include geometric shapes which the Blackfoot people regarded as sacred, and it is believed that these were places of meditation and worship.
There are more than the inscriptions in the stones; however. There are also intricate and beautiful cave paintings found upon the stones, done with the mineral red ocher mixed with the fat of animals hunted by the tribesmen. These paintings are still clinging to the cliffs, preserved against all odds, for thousands of years.
They frequently used sandstone because it was reasonably soft, and could be etched with harder stones, bones, and eventually metal. Although sandstone is soft, these carvings have adorned the landscape for hundreds of generations. Not even the wind and rain have removed this colorful historical text from the landscape.
The tribes of North America had a strong belief in the spiritual world, and regarded it as being just as real as the physical realm. They also honored the spirits of animals. It is the opinion of many archaeologists that animals depicted on cave walls were their way of honoring the spirits of the animals they ate.
Modern native people still have a deep connection with the realm of spirit, and they regard these carvings as a national treasure. It gives them a strong connection to their ancestors who once ruled these lands. To them, theirs is a history written in stone, and left for future generations to learn from.
While many of these sites have been dated back approximately three thousand years, there are more recent examples as well. There are sites which depict guns and people on horse back. These pictoglyphs are believed to date around the Sixteenth century, when European settlers began to interact with the native tribes.
So many archaeological sites have been destroyed over the years through large-scale construction projects. Humanity will never know just how much history has been lost due to careless habits of construction companies, more concerned for profit than preservation. It is important that those who find these sites take immediate measures to ensure that they are appropriately preserved and given over to archaeologists for study.
Laws have been passed in Canada to preserve the artwork etched into the sandstone cliffs. Due to some episodes of vandalism which have occurred, one can now be fined up to $50,000.00 if they are caught defacing the art. Archaeologists are still studying these monuments in an attempt to fully translate the symbols in order to have a greater understanding of the history of the region.
Canadians of both native and European descent take the preservation of the rock carving Alberta very seriously. There is a strong desire to keep these areas pristine so they can be studied and appreciated by future generations. This is one of the greatest examples of tribal history in the world, and people of all races and heritage feel a connection to it.
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