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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Tah Prohm Temple - Proof that dinosaurs lived with man?

One of the interesting side effects of writing to dozens of organisations for my survey is corresponding with people who I would probably have never done so otherwise.

One such person is Dave Prentice from Origins Resource Association , a Christian Creationist group.

Now I will lay my cards on the table and admit that I am an athiest, and have no belief in a supreme deity. Although at times, I am often finding myself wondering about the existence of that great fortean god, the Cosmic Joker. However someones religious beliefs should not get in the way of research, and all evidence should be viewed and investigated no matter where it comes from.

Now I'm sure that most people reading this article will have seen the carving of a "stegosaurus" on a ancient Cambodian temple. Putting the creationist angle to one side, one thing that can't be denied is that there is a strange looking creature carved on one of the columns.

Dave has visited this site himself, and sent me some of the pictures he took. Some of these pictures have angles on the carving that will not have been seen online before, and are well worth looking at. Hence the reason for this article.

It should be noted that Dave has given permission for these pictures to be posted and the copyright remains with him, and as a matter of courtesy I suggest that if anyone wants to use these images themselves they should get in contact with him first.

Is it a stegosaurus though. Well if we are going to be anatomically correct no it is not. The head is too large, tail is too short, and the only superficial similarities are the "plates" on its back

So what sort of animal is the carving of? Is it genuine or a hoax?

I have my thoughts, but before I post them, I'd be interested to hear the views and theories of other people.


  1. I never go so far as to say anything is "proof" in science. However, the carving is some interesting evidence that perhaps some form of dinosaur made it alive until fairly recent times -- ca. 1100, around the time the temple was constructed.
    True, the carving is not exactly like any stegosaurus we've ever catalogued. But then, to my knowledge we do not have even a single complete stegosaurus fossil. I would not venture to guess the genus of this specimen, but I think it looks like some sort of stegosaurid reptile. Whatever it is, it's there, carved in stone.

  2. Richard Ashworth3 May 2010 at 21:14

    These photos do appear to show some form of unknown creature perhaps even a dinosaur. But this doesn't mean this creature ever existed, imagine our 'civilisation' was wiped out, and people in a thousand years discovered the gargoyles carved on various churches around Europe, a similar discussion may ensue.

    However the carving is found around those of real animals, so I think it likely that this carving is of a real animal, such as a rhino, or perhaps even a type of lizard. Also could the plates be a decorative addition by the artist?
    Really interesting stuff.

  3. IT has been known for many years that as we have found fossils of dinosaurs So did the persons that came before us. However they may not of known when this animal had died. Many believe that the dragon originated from the finding of dinosaur bones and were interpreted to be dragons. This however does not mean they existed

  4. Consider also what the artist was trying to accomplish....a comical rendering perhaps. If the carving on the bottom is supposed to be a human, the head isn't to scale either. I think it's a real animal. Most likely a Stegosaurus.

  5. Though I cannot deny the fact that it looks in the family of the stegosaurus, I cannot help but to look at the other carvings in the pictures. In the other carvings there seems to be something coming out of the background, for example just look at the bear, or whatever creature that is, right above the supposed stegosaurus. It looks as though there is plates coming out of that animals back too, but it seems to be to be a rocky background behind the creature. as if to say this is where we saw this animal in the mountains. So maybe the plates are rocks or another feature in the environment behind the creature to show this is where this animal can be found.

    Another theory I have on this is if you look two carvings down from the "stegosaurus" you will see a mans face complete with hair and a beard. The hair looks just like the plate in the stegosaurus carving above it. Therefore my other theory is that is how they show that the animal is hairy, so the stegosaurus creature may just be some hairy mammal like a wolf?

    Those are just my theories as I would love to see that dinosaurs survived into the modern day, but we have to look past what we see and look at the whole picture as well.