Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dinosaurs In 'Modern' Times.

I'll simply put it this way, without the benefit of modern science how were artists at Angor Wat in Cambodia able to carve this amazing likeness of a Stegosaurus on a temple which is dated to around the 12th century? Does this mean that they were carving from life? Or did they manage to find a skeleton and painstakingly reconstruct it to reveal the Age Of The Dinosaurs? Perhaps it was just lying there complete when they found it or maybe stories survived with enough detail to account for the image you see below:

Either way, whilst Europe was calling Dinosaur bones "proof of giants or dragons" from such legends as King Arthur and the Nephilim of the Old Testament it seems that people over there had their shit together. I went and tried to see this for myself because I was skeptical. I couldn't find it in the jungle but I am no longer skeptical that this carving actually exists at the temple site in Cambodia as it has become quite famous and is considered only mildly controversial. It was included in the Guide Book of the area but like many things of it's kind it is not highlighted. It seems we are always directed towards the "World's Biggest Corndog: A Modern Marvel" exhibit rather than the "History Shattering Provocative In Situ Carving That Makes Your Trip Mind-blowing and Memorable" at our left.
Compare this carving with a modern interpretation of this beastie:

The other point worth making is this: Do we just see some form of decorative "petals" above this creature as denoting the plates on the back of the Dinosaur? Or could this really be a question of how we see and read this carving? The head in the carving really leaves a lot to the imagination. Maybe it's just a crude pig.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating post - and a very interesting blog!

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