by Chris Parker
Copyright s8int.com 2009
Photo: Umm El-Kanatir art from 400 to 700 A.D.
In wonder we were viewing our Cambodian Stegosaur
When some guy with a monocle burst through the back door
He took out a pen with indelible ink
Said if anyone moves your precious stego’s extinct
We advanced on him slowly, couldn’t believe he would do-it
But then he took his pen and drew a red line clear through it
Alas, poor Stegosaurus, we knew him well
You looked like a dinosaur but now no one can tell
Before making his escape at the back of the residence
He said; Man and dinosaur didn’t coexist, so I’m destroying the evidence
We’ve put together a selection of ancient dinosaur depictions which have in common the fact that they all appear on or within a religious “temple” or cathedral. Currently, one of the most well-known of these depictions is the alleged stegosaurus depiction at the Ta Prohm Temple near Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
This stegosaurus depiction (or so it seems to be) has been debunked in the mind of skeptics by the fairly simple measure of drawing a line through the depiction’s most prominent feature—the armor plating along it’s back.
One can make up their own mind about the depiction as we review it again below. Our section on Dinosaurs in History and Art is extensive enough that we can now categorize the artifacts in a number of different groupings. Although the Cambodian stegosaur may well be the most famous depiction in the world currently, we could argue that there are even more compelling dinosaur depictions at other temple, synagogue or cathedral sites, some of which we review here..
Bi-Pedal Dinosaur and Giant Creature Attack Horse
Jewish Synagogue 400-700 A.D.
Excavated in 2007
Um el Kanatir (Umm el-Kanater) is an ancient Roman town on the Golan Heights, now an archeological site being developed into an Archaeological Park. The meaning of the name is “mother of the arches”.
The site is named for the water source, a spring that pours from the face of a cliff into three basins carved of stone in antiquity. Each of the basins was surmounted by a Roman monumental arch of cut basalt. It is assumed that the niches between the arches originally held pagan images of the spirit of the waters.
Two of the arches are now in ruins, but one survives intact. They, and the village site, continued to be used into the modern period not as a town but by small numbers of local farmers and shepherds living amid and atop the ruins of the ancient town, sometimes in homes constructed out of ancient blocks of building stone reconstructed into farm houses.
…It is believed that the income generated by the linen industry enabled the villagers to construct the very large sixth-century synagogue. Interestingly, the synagogue appears to have been built on the site of a more modest, fifth century synagogue. The large synagogue was destroyed the catastrophic Golan earthquake of 749.
The building was 18 meters (60 feet) long by 13 meters (43 feet) wide and calculated to have been 12 meters (40 feet) high, making it one of the largest ancient synagogues in the region.
Neither the synagogue nor the town were rebuilt after the earthquake of 749. The synagogue was first identified by Laurence Oliphant and Gottlieb Schumacher in 1884. The surviving elements of the ancient synagogue.
Photo:Umm El-Kanatir art from 400 to 700 A.D. Comparison with Cryolophosaurus and Dilophosaurus, two crested theropod dinosaurs.
Theropod dinosaurs were bi-pedal animals with two much smaller arms which they held close to their chests. They were fiercesome meat eaters like which included tyrannosaurus and giganotosaurus.
The creature depicted joining the fray here is clearly a bi-pedal dinosaur with a distinctive head crest, a terrible aspect, and two huge thighs. The tail can be discerned by those at the site if not from the photos. This depiction also shows that the dinosaur has three toes and a hind claw, just like tyrannosaurus.
The head crest on a theropod dinosaur is somewhat unusual but there are a number of known theropods with a crest, including Cryolophosaurus, meaning “cold crest lizard”). Cryolophosaurus was a large theropod dinosaur, with a bizarre crest on its head that looked like a Spanish comb.
Cryolophosaurus was excavated from Antarctica’s Early Jurassic Hanson Formation (former the upper Falla Formation) by paleontologist Dr. William Hammer in 1991…Wikipedia
Another theropod with a head crest is Dilophosaurus. Both Cryolophosaurus and Dilophosaurus are both shown here in comparison to the dinosaur depictions at Umm El-Kanatir. This depiction may not be of either of these theropod dinosaurs but it clearly is a depiction of a theropod with a distinctive crest.
The “horse” is being directly attacked by a very large creature, possibly a reptile; possibly a feline.
Ceratopsian Dinosaur Depiction at Muktinath Temple
Site of 108 ‘Dragon Headed” Fountains
The Muktinath Temple was consecrated in 1815 A.D by Queen Subarna Prabha, the wife of Rana Bahadur Shah. This temple is built in a Tibetan pagoda style and contains huge brass idols of Lord Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and Kali. The local name for Muktinath is Chumig Gyatsa….Source: Pilgrimage Tours
On a wall of the temple are 108 “dragon headed” fountains which pilgrims seek out to “cleanse” themselves. Actually, the heads are variously described as; dragons or bulls.
At least one of the heads, as seen here on the left in this photo, is not a dragon or a bull, but instead is an excellent likeness of a ceratopsian dinosaur.
The temple was “consecrated in 1815”. The 108 fountains has been a pilgrimage site for many number of years. Ceratopsian dinosaurs were not really understood in their present form until the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, some years after the temple was consecrated. In 1887, a pair of ceratopsian horns were identified as horns of an extinct bison.
When was the ceratopsian depiction created? If in or around 1815, how was such an accurate depiction of a ceratopsian dinosaur created more than 60 years prior to the accurate depiction of these dinosaurs by science—unless someone had actually seen one alive?