Archaeological heritage

Forillon National Park

Archeological research conducted at Penouille has uncovered artifacts that tell us about the way of life of the people who inhabited the area hundreds, and even thousands, of years ago. The Penouille Peninsula has been a hospitable environment for humans for a very long time.

The Mi'gmaq and their ancestors, the area’s first inhabitants, have been regular visitors at Penouille since around 2,000 BP (before present). Archeologists have found points dating to between 1,000 - 500 years BP and 2,150 - 950 years BP. They also unearthed many stone fragments that are evidence of the occupation of the territory by Indigenous peoples.

“It is clear that this site was used extensively for working stone. In fact it was a huge tool- making workshop where generations of artisans left dozens, even hundreds, of kilos of stone flakes behind.” Jean-Yves Pintal, M. Sc., Archeologist. The discovery of a large quantity of pottery shards at Penouille (some of which date back to 2,150 - 1,350 years BP, has made this the most important Woodland period pottery site on the Gaspe Peninsula.

A big whaling station was established on the peninsula in the 1800s. Huge slabs of whale blubber were piled up and then melted in huge pots to extract the oil.

French fishers frequented Penouille during the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century, even establishing one of their first permanent fishing outposts in the Gaspe Peninsula. The French fishers used to arrive in the spring and return to Europe in the fall.

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