“Look at Behemoth, which I made just as I made you; it eats grass like an ox. Its strength is in its loins, and its power in the muscles of its belly. It makes its tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are knit together. Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like bars of iron. It is the first of the great acts of God— only its Maker can approach it with the sword.” …Job 40 15-19 New Revised Standard Version
“Megasthenes writeth, that there be serpents among the Indians to that bignesse, that they are able to swallow stags or buls all whole….Attilius Regulaus, generall under the Romanes, during the warres against the Carthaginians, assailed a Serpent neere the river Bagrada, which caried in length 120 foot…” Book 8 Pliny’s Natural History
Ancient Viking Brachiosaurus?
by Chris Parker
Photo: From the latter part of this article; fully explained below.
Dragons; sometimes huge, reptilian, dangerous, sometimes winged, sometimes not creatures – are reported not as mythological but as real in every ancient culture on every continent. Of course, those creatures that we now call dinosaurs were also sometimes huge, dangerous, sometimes winged, sometimes not creatures – that lived on every continent. (Technically pterosaurs are not considered dinosaurs).
Among those ancient cultures who described living dragons were the Norse and that subset of the Norse culture the Vikings.
This is a test to see what the block tag does.
Painting: Just to be clear; the “dragon” on the ship’s prow is not our subject today.
“The Vikings (from Old Norse víkingr) were the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.
These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, and as far south as Nekor. This period of Viking expansion – known as the Viking Age – forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, Great Britain, Ireland and the rest of Medieval Europe.
Popular conceptions of the Vikings often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and written sources. A romanticised picture of Vikings as Germanic noble savages began to take root in the 18th century, and this developed and became widely propagated during the 19th-century Viking revival.
The received views of the Vikings as violent brutes or intrepid adventurers owe much to the modern Viking myth which had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations are typically highly clichéd, presenting the Vikings as familiar caricatures.
- The Norse Dragon Tradition
Dragons are common in Norse lore; we associate viking raiders with dragon headed ships. However this is slightly misleading because Norse lore made no distinction between dragons per se and serpents. A serpent was simply a dragon without wings.
In Nordic mythology, the figure of the dragon was often used as symbol of material greed, and harbringers of destruction, that is to say: they acquired a clearly negative symbolism, (unlike some aspects of the dragon in Eastern mythology). Clearly this makes them excellent figureheads for Viking raiders!
One of the most important Norse dragons is Nithhogr. This creature lives at the base of the world tree Yggdrasil and gnaws at the roots, attempting to destroy it. Nithhogr also devours the corpses of the dead. The world serpent Jormungandr would also be classed as a dragon in Norse lore. Jormungandr – the Midgard serpent – lives in the waters curled in a circle round the world and biting his own tail.
Another well-known Norse dragon tale is that of Fafnir, who was turned into a dragon by his greed and who was slain by Siegfried. The hero Scandanavian hero Beowulf also fought dragons. Some have classed grendel and his mother as dragons, however they are more usually considered to be some form of troll”.Dragonrama
An Antique Viking Diplodocus?
This “ANCIENT VIKING BRONZE ZOOMORPHIC PENDANT,RARE” is actually a pendant currently on sale on Ebay. It is a bronze, zoomorphic depiction of a long necked, quadruped with curled tail used as a connection for the wire to be passed through for a wearer. The item actually has “bumpy skin” in the manner of the sauropod dinosaurs we believe it represents.
Not much information is provided about the object other than that which has been provided above. The location of the seller is Latvia, the seller is gint5812 who has a 100% approval rating. I’m not providing a link because the item has been sold and I have no way of knowing how long the link will be active.
The item is a “pendant”, approximately 3 inches from tail to nose. Is the item a real, antique Viking pendant? we can’t prove it is, however the surest way to have an object declared a fake is to present it in the shape of a dinosaur.
We have additional views of the object as well as comparisons with modern depictions of a certain type of sauropod dinosaur.
Sauropod dinosaurs are probably the most easily recognized type of dinosaur. They are large, long necked with a stocky body and a long tail. However, there were differences among the various types of sauropods and we believe that rather than just generally identifying this ancient depiction as a sauropod I believe we can go even further and identify the specific type of sauropod dinosaur that is being represented.
Of course, sauropod dinosaurs supposedly became extinct over 65 million years ago.
Brachiosaurus has a distinctive shaped head among the sauropods; it has a “bulb” or a large bulge on the top frontal portion of its skull. Various artists and paleontologists have represented that bulge in a number of ways in modern depictions. The skull of diplodocus is longer and more horse like than is the skull of brachiosaurus. Camarsaurus and Euhelopus have more rounded skulls. We believe that this ancient, Viking artifact specifically represents what science calls the brachiosaurus today. A chart showing these sauropod skulls is provided a bit further down in this post.
A potential issue (among some would say, many) is that brachiosaurus is supposed to be an American dinosaur even though “related” dinosaurs and potential brachiosaurus remains have been found in Africa and Europe.
Does this prove that these Vikings made it to America? I’m not serious. One of the many differences that creationists have with evolutionists is that the need for isolated populations creates a bias for continent only dinosaurs. Creationists are not surprised when the same species appears on many or even all continents.
This grouping (photo) is not from Wikipedia and provides a comparison between the heads of modern depictions of brachiosaurus from fossil remains and a possible ancient eyewitness depiction.
“Brachiosaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from the Jurassic Morrison Formation of North America. It was first described by Elmer S. Riggs in 1903 from fossils found in the Grand River Canyon (now Colorado River) of western Colorado, in the United States. Riggs named the dinosaur Brachiosaurus altithorax, declaring it “the largest known dinosaur”. Brachiosaurus had a proportionally long neck, small skull, and large overall size, all of which are typical for sauropods. However, the proportions of Brachiosaurus are unlike most sauropods.
The forelimbs were longer than the hindlimbs, which result in a steeply inclined trunk, making the overall body shape reminiscent of a modern giraffe. Also, while the tail is a typical long dinosaur tail, it was relatively short for a sauropod.
Brachiosaurus is the namesake genus of the family Brachiosauridae, which includes a handful of other similar sauropods. Much of what is known by laypeople about Brachiosaurus is in fact based on Giraffatitan brancai, a species of brachiosaurid dinosaur from the Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania that was originally described by German paleontologist Werner Janensch as a species of Brachiosaurus. Recent research shows that the differences between the type species of Brachiosaurus and the Tendaguru material are significant enough that the African material should be placed in a separate genus. Several other potential species of Brachiosaurus have been described from Africa and Europe, but none of them are thought to belong to Brachiosaurus at this time.”…Wikipedia
How do we account for the close match of the head of this artifact with the actual skull of brachiosaurus? Is this some quadrupedal, dragon like, reptile like (with “reptile” skin”) and frankly brachiosaurus like object nevertheless a wholly mythological depiction? Is that the simplest explanation or is it more likely that the maker of this artifact was familiar enough with the animal to make even a stylized form of it–which others would also recognize?
There must be an infinite number of mythological animal shapes from which an artist could choose from. Wouldn’t it be too much of a coincidence to believe that a purely mythological animal had nearly exact feature matches with a creature that allegedly became extinct 65 million years ago? “Behold now behemoth”!
Just for Kicks, Two Additional Viking Sauropods?
The bidding has closed at $140.00. This artifact has the “telltale” head bulge on top of its head.
SOLID 830 SILVER DRAGON TEA SET 1892 ANTIQUE NORWEGIAN
This piece can be associated with the seven others that we are showing below because they all clearly represent the same long necked creature. We are making what we believe is the proper identfication below.
“A stunning rare Norwegian sterling silver tea set. It is hallmarked with the 830S standard mark and the makers mark of David Andersen, Christiania (the name for Oslo pre 1924), and the date 1892. For those unaware Andersen is regarded as Norway’s most sought after maker. It has been beautifully made being designed around a dragon theme. The teapot has a cast dragon spout and handle and cast dragon feet, the sugar bowl and cream jug have dragon handles and feet. Each piece has been engraved DK or KD as they are entwined.
Photo: Right 1910 Sauropod Drawing
It is in outstanding condition being free from dings splits and repairs. The pot handle wobbles a little due to the shrinkage of the natural insulator rings but this is very easy for a silversmith to put right and there are of course a couple of faint marks but nothing of any significance”.
This piece sold for approximately $2,200. The date of 1892 means that it was created some 15 years after the bones were intially discovered in 1877. The head of the “dragon” matches the other six dragons from across time and around the world that we show below.
We do not need to suppose that David Anderson the maker actually saw a live sauropod-only that at that through that time the depiction of this dinosaur was known and rather consistently drawn and sculpted. The detail and style of depictions of these dinosaurs at tha time were nothing like the current versions of these creatures.
Remarkable Correlation Of Ancient Sauropod Depictions with Specific Genera of Sauropoda Across Time and Continents (How to Terrain Your Dragons?)
Here’s that promised sauropod skull chart. Notice that cranial bulge on the skull of brachiosaurus? If there were in fact ancient depictions of this sauropod might we not notice today the long neck, dragon nature, long tail and the telltale head bulge? see story above.
Although in most respects these creatures are quite similar there are characteristics of the skull that might allow us to show not only that man was an eyewitness to living examples of these creatures but with specific genera of the sauropoda!
This ancient cylinder seal, currently housed at the Louvre Museum portrays sauropod like creatures as well as giant “birds” or pterosaurs. The seal is from Mesopotamia, approximately 3300 B.C. (Moortgart, Anton, The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia, 1969, plate 292., presumably seen by the artist.
I would ask that the interested reader note the points of similarity between a close-up of the “sauropod” depiction created by rolling the cylinder with the skull of Diplodocus Longus. This is the basis for me to call this creature and the consistent comparisons below diplodocus depictions.
Tang Dynasty Euhelopus
The Euhelopus skull is shown in the chart above. It is the skull in the top, left of the chart. Its skull is more rounded than that of either brachiosaurus or diplodocus. The artifact shown is more than 2,000 years more recent and on an entirely different continent.
Euhelopus; Source: Thinkquest.org
One of the big plant-eating dinosaurs similar to Camarasaurus, Euhelopus, or “good marsh foot,” had a longer neck and nose. Like Camarasaurus, it had strong teeth that grew around its jaws.
Other dinosaurs of this type had teeth growing only in front. Euhelopus had large nostrils on top of its head. Because of this, some scientists think it had a long trunk. That would have made it look very strange.
Photo: Collection description: Tang Dynasty (618 A.D.-906 A.D.) nephrite jade finial in the shape of a bird’s head (sic). It was probably used as a handle for a knife or other such implement. There is a bit of calcification on the jade, but it is an exquisite piece. It’s in a private collection on sale for $5,500.00
Both Camarasaurus and Euhelopus were camarasaurid (chambered lizard) dinosaurs, with hollow chambers in the backbone.
Euhelopus was a little slimmer than Camarasaurus, but large members of the family may have weighed as much as 24 tons. The biggest could have been up to 50 feet in length – without trunk. From fossil remains, scientists believed they were at home in marshy land at the bank of muddy rivers or in swamps.
They would have been safer there than on dry or wooded land where big flesh eater roamed.
Location: Shandong, People’s Republic of China
Size: Length- 50 feet (15m)
Time: Late Jurassic
It may not be possible to readily identify the specific similarity of the Euhelopus sauropod depiction with that of the Tang Dynasty artifact. On the right we’ve placed the unedited drawing of the Euhelopus skull (except that we tinted it red) on top of the artifact for comparison. What do you think? Bird or sauropod?
Diplodocus, Right to Left, Around the World and Across Culture and Eras-Click to enlarge photo.
We believe that each of these depictions is of diplodocus, which has a flatter skull than does Brachiosaurus or the other rounder headed sauropods, Camarsarus and Euhelopus. There is a remarkable consistency between the depictions, whatever it is that is in the artist’s eye. The depictions span a time period beginning 5,300 years ago through the Acambaro depiction of possibly the last 1,000 years.
From left to Right:(A)This is another version of the Mesopotamian cylinder seal (colorized). 3,300 B.C. Currently housed at Louvre Museum.
(B) Coffee Pot. By: Unidentified artist, Portuguese (Lisbon)
19th century, about 1825-1850 Metal; silver, wooden handle 29.5 x 26.7
Curved steamed body, 4-sided, heavy moulding below long contracted neck. Flattened domed cover. On 4 claw-ball feet. Curved spout flat at back, with animal’s head tip. Angular wooden handle. Cast parrot on ball, finial screwed to cover. Bands of floral repousse at base, above and below mid-moulding, at neck and on cover.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
(C)From the Vietnamese Bronze Age: 3rd century A.D. Cast bronze. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Dongson culture.
(D)Bronze Ladle with “dragon head” handle. Han dynasty(220 B.C. to approx 220 A.D… Chinaweb
(E)Acambaro Mexico. Carbon dated to 1,500 to 4,000 years old. http://www.omniology.com/ManyDinos.jpg
(F)Record ID: HAMP-9A5B16
Object type: BRIDLE FITTING
Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Workflow stage: Awaiting validation
A slightly corroded fragment from a late early-medieval/Anglo-Scandinavian cast copper-alloy cheekpiece (c. 11th century AD). The fragment is formed of a curved Ringerike style animal head and neck in profile, possibly a dragon or sea monster. The cheekpiece is flat and the neck is long and the head is set at roughly right angles to it. On the outer edge of the curve is a recessed protrusion, broadly semicircular with a small central knop and suggestions of losses behind. At the end of the head is a recurving hook, perhaps representing a horn. Below are three small lobed protrusions …
The piece (F) on the far right is Scandavavian, from the 11th century A.D. The piece on the far left (A) is from 3300 B.C.-and yet from left to right the open minded can see that it is always the same creature that is being depicted; long necked, fleshy nosed and often bearded.
(G) 1892 Norwegian Tea Set. (Described above)
A word about the noses. It seems that the noses portrayed here for diplodocus are “fleshy” when compared with modern depictions. Here is a idea why the ancient depictions could be more accurate.
Study Paints New Picture of Dinosaur’s Nose. John Roach for National Geographic News August 2, 2001
A new study suggests that anyone who sits down to draw a detailed picture of what dinosaurs may have looked like will have to tweak the nose a bit to get it right. Usually the flesh-covered nasal passages of dinosaurs are shown toward the back of the openings in the nose bone. But Lawrence Witmer, a paleontologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, says that’s wrong, and the nostrils were really much closer to the front, just above the mouth, and were larger than thought.
Photo:Science Tries Fleshy Nosed Diplodocus
The finding, which Witmer reported in the August 3 issue of Science, is significant not just because it changes our idea of what dinosaurs looked like. It also has implications for how dinosaurs breathed, smelled, and regulated their body temperature and water loss.
“I don’t know why we got it wrong for so long,” said Witmer. “In general, the fleshy nostril the opening into the nasal cavity has escaped scientific inquiry.” People have relatively small bony nostrils, so there’s little doubt about where the flesh-covered nasal passages can be located to effectively do their job. The bony noses of dinosaurs, however, could have been more than two feet (0.6 meters) long, which leaves the placement of the fleshy nostrils open to interpretation.