Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv rock art: applying DStretch to reveal a layered landscape, a case study on the Central Coast, British Columbia, Canada




Skala, Aurora Anne

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This archaeological community-engaged research focuses on locating, recording, photographing, and classifying, rock art (pictographs and petroglyphs) designs within Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv Nations’ territories. The two areas are on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada: River’s Inlet/Owikeno Lake (Wuikinuxv Territory, near Oweekeno village), and Roscoe Inlet (Heiltsuk Territory, near Bella Bella). By listening to stories and visiting rock art locations its deep history and significance can begin to be comprehended. Throughout this research 58 rock art sites were visited and over 900 designs were categorized into nine types. Within this context I consider the feasibility and benefits of digital contrast adjustment of photographs using DStretch, a plugin created for ImageJ, that renders visible faint traces of pigment which can not be seen with the naked eye. Additionally, the potential of underwater archaeology (scuba diving) for the discovery and recording of rock art sites is explored.



Heiltsuk, Wuikinuxv, First Nation, Indigenous, Bella Bella, Rivers Inlet, British Columbia, Canada, Rock Art, Underwater Archaeology, Scuba Diving, Archaeology, DStretch, Pictograph, Petroglyph