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Willow Bunch

Trip Planner Canada  /  Saskatchewan  /  Willow Bunch
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Willow Bunch is a small community located in south central Saskatchewan, Canada, 190km southwest of the provincial capital of Regina. The population was 286 at the 2011 census.Previous names for Willow Bunch have been Hart-Rouge and Talle-de-Saules. The area has seen influences from Métis and Fransaskois.HistoryPrehistoryAbout 19 kilometres north-west of Willow Bunch is one of Saskatchewan’s biggest archaeological mysteries. The St. Victors Petroglyph site is a provincial park that is host to over 300 rock carvings. The carvings are located on a sandstone cliff that is elevated at 950m. The uniqueness of the plateau is characterized by being only one of five sites in Canada where petroglyphs are on a horizontal structure of a rock.The petroglyphs are dominated by images of the plains grizzly bear, but there are also carvings of footprints of other animals such as bison, elk, deer, birds and pictures of human figures. There is no group given credit for making these carvings, but it is estimated they were made between 500−1,700 AD. The best time to see the petroglyphs, according to the Friends of the Petroglyphs, is later in the day or very early in the morning, so that the sun casts shadows making them more visible to view.The sandstone also has plant fossils trapped in it. These fossils date to before the time of the Ice Age (Pleistocene Epoch). Many mammals from before the Ice Age can also be found on higher plateaus of the park. The bone and teeth remains of woolly rhinoceros and three-toed horses are just some examples of prehistoric life in the area.During the Ice Age, mammoths, horses, camels and saber-toothed cats would have roamed as well. Mammoth remains have been found as close as two hours away in Mortlach, Saskatchewan. These were mostly gone by time humans arrived. Once the Wisconsin Ice Sheet, which covered most of North America, had retreated, the area became habitable for humans. When humans could inhabit the area, the land would have been “open woodland and aspen parkland”, while the northern part of the province would have remained under glacial ice.
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