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Viking Ribstones Archaeological Site

Viking, Near

Other Names:
Ribstone Heritage Monument
Ribstone, Heritage Monument
Ribstones Historical Site
The "Ribstones"
The Ribstones

Location



Street Address:
Community: Viking, Near
Boundaries: Parcel A, Plan 6011KS
Contributing Resources: N/A

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD






PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
6011 KS

N/A
A

Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.994904 -111.612963

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1994/04/12

Historical Information

Built:
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s)
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: SITE DESCRIPTION

The site consists of two ribstones and a cairn constructed by the Government of Alberta in 1959 near the top of a hill approximately 11 miles east of Viking. The hill is currently maintained for use as an historic monument and day use park. When the surface was ploughed and seeded to grass in the 1950s, abundant prehistoric artifacts were exposed. Currently, only the ribstones and several other large rocks are visible.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The Viking Ribstones are very hard quartzite boulders which have been modified by aboriginal people. They pecked two kinds of marks into the boulder surface: grooves and pits. The grooves are thought to represent the backbone and ribs of the buffalo. The circular pits or "cupules" may have been carved in imitation of the pock-marked surface of the Iron Creek Meteorite which was the aboriginal peoples greatest and most venerated monument to "Old Man Buffalo" the spirit protector of the buffalo herds.

Aboriginal peoples left offerings of meat, tobacco, or beads at ribstones to acquire luck in hunting and to give thanks to "Old Man Buffalo". Only nine ribstone sites are known to exist in Alberta. These are among the rarest types of archaeological sites present within the Province. All other known ribstone sites have been disturbed. In most cases the ribstones themselves have been removed. The Viking Ribstones are one of the few monumental carvings remaining from ancient times which can be viewed in their original natural setting.



_________________________________________________________________

DATE: 10 DECEMBER 1993 COMPILED BY: J ROD VICKERS

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0111
Designation File: DES 0689
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 21158
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 689)
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