Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Noble Point Effigy (Alberta, Canada)

(The Noble Point not-a-turtle Effigy?)
    “The Noble Point effigy (DjPa-1) is on the north edge of Chin Coulee, approximately 25 km south of Taber, Alberta. The effigy was first photographed sometime around 1967 and later recorded (1975) on an Archaeological Survey of Alberta site inventory form. However, its detailed documentation did not take place until 2009, when it was mapped by members of the Archaeological Society of Alberta Lethbridge Centre. It has not previously been included in rock feature comparative studies of Alberta and the Northern Plains. This article summarizes the efforts to relocate the effigy and the mapping process carried out by members of the Archaeological Society of Alberta. It also provides details on the construction of the effigy and explores its cultural classification and meaning...”

(Yes, he said it's not a turtle...)

The Noble Point Effigy (DjPa-1) (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Jun 28, 2017].

   "...But the most daunting question, because it encompasses aspects of all the others combined, is that of motive. Why draw large images with stone across the prairie landscape?
    Sundstrom’s report lists several possible interpretations for the sites including memorials to important people or events, identifiers of particular social groups, shrines related to war, hunting and planting, and astronomical observatories.
   “None of these are mutually exclusive and none have been decisively studied archaeologically,” her report says.
     Brace takes a practical point of view, saying that many of the animal effigies were environmental indicators, acting as landmarks or identifying the location of resources.
    For example, an effigy in Mankota depicts a salamander with a simple set of external gills, like one that lives in fresh water. The forms sits in an area with much alkaline water, but a line drawn from the tail through the head of the effigy pointed to one of the few fresh water springs, he said.
   Brace sees a similar use for a buffalo effigy. A line drawn from the tail through the head leads to a blind coulee where large game could be driven off the edge.
   The turtle effigies could mean that an important food source could be found in the area, he said...”

(Yes, he said, “The turtle effigies could mean that an important food source could be found in the area.”)
    Turtle found in the area of Alberta: 


Norman said...

Why not a composite of man and turtle? Such features go back thousands of years.

Tim MacSweeney said...

Now that you mention it - why not indeed!

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