Peterborough Stone petroglyphs - Canada

Petroglyphs Left in Canada by Scandinavians 3,000 Years Ago?

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By Tara MacIsaac Epoch Times  

Hundreds of petroglyphs are etched on a slab of crystalline limestone about 180-by-100 feet (a third the size of a football field) in Peterborough, Canada. They may have been left by Algonquin Native Americans about a thousand years ago, or by Scandinavian traders a few thousand years ago. The latter claim flouts the common understanding of history, which places Europeans in the New World much later. But it has had a few prominent supporters.

They say that the depictions of animals, solar symbols, geometric shapes, boats, and human figures on the so-called Peterborough Stone reflect a style used in the Old World. 

Peterborough Stone petroglyphs

Peterborough Stone petroglyphs (Robin L. Lyke)

A large ship was drawn in a style common in Scandinavia.

For example, a large ship was drawn in a style common in Scandinavia, according to Boston University Professor Robert Schoch, a Yale-educated geologist. Schoch’s opinions on the Peterborough Stone were recorded by journalist Charles Giuliani in his article,  “An Alternative View of the Distant Past.”  

The ship features a large steering oar at the stern, which is only included in ships more than 100 feet long. The local Native population is not known to have produced any such vessels. Some argue that the Natives envisioned it as a spirit ship, that it was not meant to depict their own vessels. 

Harvard biologist turned epigrapher Barry Fell and Harvard-educated epigrapher and archaeologist David Kelley both identified the glyphs as a proto-Tifinagh script from North Africa. Yet this ancient script from North-Africa was apparently used by the Scandinavians.

Scandinavians Using a North African Script?

Kelley compared the Peterborough petroglyphs to glyphs in Europe and North Africa. He found that proto-Tifinagh was used in Bronze Age Scandinavia, further south in Italy, and in North Africa.

Proto-Tifinagh gave the unlettered Norse the ability not only to record their own language but to produce records intelligible to their Mediterranean trading partners. 
— Dr. Robert Schoch, Boston University

Fell controversially claimed in his 1982 book, “Bronze Age America,” that the Peterborough Stone symbols were meaningfully grouped together to document the commercial enterprise of a Bronze Age Nordic king, Woden-lithi. Fell’s translation of part of the inscriptions reads: “Woden-lithi, of Ringerike the great king, instructed that runes be engraved. A ship he took. In-honor-of-Gungnir was its name …. For ingot-copper of excellent quality came the king by way of trial.”

While Kelley didn’t agree with Fell’s exact translation, he did agree that the script was likely left by Scandinavian traders. Fell estimated the date of the petroglyphs to be about 1700 B.C. Kelley’s estimate was 800 B.C. While many academics scoffed at Fell’s claims, Kelley’s reputation was more secure, since he had earned fame for his decipherment of Mayan glyphs.

Kelley hypothesized that a single trade route ran from the Niger River to Scandinavia, and that the Scandinavians linked that route to Canada.

Schoch elaborated on why the Scandinavians may have used the Berber North African script of proto-Tifinagh: “Many of these peoples were accomplished navigators and traders, as were the Norse. Trade no doubt brought Berbers and Norse together, and in the course of that contact they learned something of each other’s languages.

“But the Norsemen didn’t have a written language. Proto-Tifinagh gave the unlettered Norse the ability not only to record their own language but to produce records intelligible to their Mediterranean trading partners. The Norse took the alphabet to their fjords and then over the Atlantic to the New World … In its time and way, Old Norse in Proto-Tifinagh is no stranger than modern Yiddish, a German dialect written in the Hebrew alphabet, or Maltese, the only Arabic tongue written in the Latin alphabet.”

Peterborough Stone petroglyphs

Peterborough Stone petroglyphs (Robin L. Lyke)

Native Teaching Rocks

The Peterborough petroglyph site is known to local Natives as the Teaching Rocks. Their legend hold that it is an entrance to the Spirit world, a place to communicate with spirits.

Giuliani quoted freelance science journalist Patrick Huyghe: “Fell [was] well aware that many of the inscriptions at the [Peterborough] site are the work of later Algonquin artists attempting to imitate what the Scandinavians had originally cut into the limestone. But the central Sungod and Moon goddess figures and certain astronomical signs are clearly not Algonquin.”

Featured image: Peterborough Stone petroglyphs (Robin L. Lyke)

The article ‘ Petroglyphs Left in Canada by Scandinavians 3,000 Years Ago ?’ was originally published on The Epoch Times and has been republished with permission.


This field was used as a huge textbook for teaching ancient Chinese language.
Already deciphered (at least partially)

(Download and open in a read-only mode. Currently only in Traditional Chinese.)
This was a super large textbook or dictionary for teach people how to form Chinese characters in a systematic approach.

Who knows if the hieroglyphics was even caved only a few hundred years ago?

“Hieroglyphics” refer to an ancient Egyptian style of writing dating from about 4000 BCE.

The Peterborough rock images are petroglyphs – images craved into rock.

The birthdates for most rock art petroglyphs are difficult to pin-point.

Many methods for obtaining their time of creation are speculative and lack scientific proof.

This may be why many scholars speculate about the possible age of a particular petroglyph.

For this particular petroglyph, the weathering of the incised rock images and growth of material within and beside the lines have indicated this was not a recent (within a few hundred years) creation.

You asked a great question that continues to puzzle most experts of rock art.

Without scientific data, conclusions remain conjecture.

These petroglyphs are images carved into rock with stone tools, not drawn.

 First assumption is a depiction of a “boat”. Is that because it looks like a boat or did the original artist leave detail notes about their artwork?

The supposed images of similar “boats” have been recorded throughout the world in rock art and tribal motifs over many thousands of years, some even before the creation of the first known boats from Africa.

Second theory is the image is in a style similarly found in Scandinavia a few thousand years ago. Yes I agree the images are similar in style but I don’t believe the images are representative of boats.

An additional similar boat style is to be seen in an ancient Azerbaijan petroglyph reportedly from 12,000 – 8,000 BC (Beyukdash Mountain, Gobustan, Azerbaijan).

Does this then infer the Scandinavians got their idea for boat building from this distant culture?

Beyukdash Mountain, Gobustan, Azerbaijan (12,000 – 8,000 BC)

How is it that rock glyphs throughout the world exhibit many similarities in form although separated from one another by culture, continents and time?

I respect the opinions of sages like Dr. Schoch, but again, these are not images of boats, whether in Scandinavia or the exquisite Kinomaagewaabkonging  (Teaching Rocks /Petroglyphs) in Canada.

Without scientific data, conclusions remain conjecture.

On the top photo it looks like a chef with a spatula.
I would love to know what that actually is.


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