Anthropological Services Ontario

Featured projects
   Singhampton pioneer graves (2001)
   North York schoolhouse (2006)
   ROM tracks (2006)
   Hillier roof tiles (2006)
   Legacy P. Gaster (2007)
   Czech angel (2008)
   The Grange, Toronto (2008)

Patterned roof tiles in Hillier, Ontario

The new owner of a lot with early 20th century farm buildings in Prince Edward County performed roof repairs on a slate-shingled shed in the summer of 2006. He discovered that the undersides of many of the slate-tiles carried a variety of patterrns, coarsely chipped into the soft stone with a pointed metal tool.

Slate rock and split layers recovered on the property. Such rocks potentially contain fossils. © I. Henschen (2006)


Artifacts under recovery and assessment during 2006 excavation campaign. © I. Henschen (2006)

Samples of slate dust prepared for mineralogical assessment. © I. Henschen (2006)


Artifact discovered by owner when reroofing 19th century barn. Silhouette of a pony chipped into the slate with a metal tool (nail?). © I. Henschen (2006)

ASO was commissioned to perform a systematic recovery and assessment of these artefacts and among a total of 49 shingles with markings we found 7 rather striking animal images, one of which is shown here. No systematic arrangement of images and patterns could be determined to date; we cannot state at this time whether the relationship of 7 animal images among 72 shingles in total has any significance. A publication will be forthcoming in 2009.