Dinosaurs in Literature, Art & History... Page 4
Dinosaurs in Literature, Art & History... Page 4

Ancient Dinosaur Art from Indonesian Islands; Kalimantan, Bali, Sumatra

The enormous number of Indonesia's islands and their location in a tropical, equatorial climate has produced an unrivalled diversity of plant and animal life. With only 1% of the world's land area, Indonesia is home to over 10% of all mammal species, and 17 % of all birds.

Indonesia is over 80% water. For marine creatures it is a vast melting pot, at the influence of both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The mingling of life from these two great oceans around thousands of islands has created the greatest diversity of marine life on Earth.

Location, Geography and Climate

Indonesia is composed of seventeen thousand islands that stretch over five thousand miles along the equator. The Malay peninsula and Indochina are situated to the north-west, and the continent of Australia lies due south. Northward lie the Philippines and Micronesia.

The world's largest archipelago, Indonesia's constellation of islands straddles the divide between the Asian and Australian continental plates. Parasaurolophus, then and now.

As a result, the islands offer a stunning variety of topographies and ecologies Mist-shrouded volcanoes and mountains, unexplored rain forests, thousands of miles of beaches, and endless offshore reefs support a dazzling abundance of wildlife, making Indonesia an ideal destination for adventure and eco-travel.

The great majority of the country's constituent islands are of negligible size, but it does hold--wholly or in part--several islands that are enormous.

These include Sumatra, Kalimantan (formerly Borneo, and shared with Malaysia), Sulawesi, and Java.The Indonesian state of Irian Jaya occupies the western half of New Guinea, which is the world's second largest island (behind Greenland).

The most populous of the Indonesian islands by far is Java, home to the sprawling capital city of Jakarta. Other notable islands include the exotic, popular resort island of Bali, Lombok, Catholic Flores, and Komodo, home of dragons. …. Indonesia Travel


Kalimantan is the huge southern part of Borneo, the third largest island in the world, with 30% of the land mass of Indonesia and only 5% of its population. It has vast swamps and overland travel is difficult - it is easiest to fly or go by boat along the rivers.

Kalimantan is a mythical place of jungles and rivers, traditional dayak longhouses and boats which conjure up images of head hunters and heroism. Ancient rainforest is still intact here despite extensive logging. Orang Utan, Proboscis Monkey, elephant and rhino can still be found.

The ancient Sumatrans produced multiple pieces of art depicting long-tailed, long-necked creatures with a headcrest. Some of these animals resemble hadrosaurs or other types of dinosaurs.

Top of page:left; this is a wooden pterosaur sculpture from the Dyak culture. The literature describes this item as a "funerary bird".

On the top, right, artistic representations of "dinosaurs" from the book and the museum; Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden National Museum of Antiquities, The Netherlands No. 125/I. Art of Indonesia, --Art of the Ancient Peoples—Toba Batak, Sumatra By Tibor Bodrogi 1972 Translated from the Hungarian. Included is another representation of a pterosaur, warriors riding the back of a large dinosaur type animal and an artistic representation of a dinosaur family.

Back on the left (red background)I believe is an obvious wooden sculpture from the same book of a type of hadrosaurs--duck billed, crested dinosaurs-. Specifically, it appears that the men here are riding the back of a Parasaurolophus. One of that type is pictured on the right. Parasaurolophus was about nine meters (28 ft) long and weighed up to four tons.

Back on the left again is another curious item from the same museum and book. Several large animals, which appear to be another type of dinosaur which according to science, these ancient people shouldn't have seen is what appears to be a Corythosaurus. Note the similarities to the Corythosaurus drawings picured to the right of the page opposite.

Back on the left (sepia toned)"Ancient" painting of a type of crested duck-billed dinosaur whose bones have been found in New Mexico (and other places).

Photo from "Clues to the Past", by the Archaeological Society of New Mexico:#16, 1990, edited by Duran and Kirkpatrick. The painting is attributed to the Pueblo 4 culture-AD 1300 to AD 1500.

"The duck-billed dinosaurs Parasaurolophus and Kritosaurus and the horned dinosaur Pentaceratops were the most common dinosaurs living in northwestern New Mexico during the Late Cretaceous."New Mexico State Museum--Dinosaurs of New Mexico. Compare the painting with this drawing of lambeosaurus.

Historical Dinosaurs around the World

"The respected Greek explorer Herodotus described small flying reptiles in ancient Egypt and Arabia. These animals sound amazingly like the small Ramphorhynchus (RAM-foe-RING-kus). They had the same snake-like body and bat-like wings. Many had been killed near the city of Buto (Arabia). He was shown a canyon with many piles of their back-bones and ribs.

Herodotus said that these animals could sometimes be found in the spice groves. They were "small in size and of various colors." Large numbers would sometimes gather in the frankincense trees.

When workers wanted to gather the trees' valuable juices, they would use smelly smoke to drive the flying reptiles away. The well-respected Greek, Aristotle, said that in his time it was common knowledge that creatures like this also existed in Ethiopia. Similar animals (three feet long) were also described in India by the geographer Strabo.

REFERENCES & FOOTNOTES See the writings of Herodotus. (There are a variety of published translations available.) Perle S. Epstein, MONSTERS: THEIR HISTORIES, HOMES, AND HABITS (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1973), p.43. Herodotus lived during the fifth century B.C.

"The reliability of Herodotus as an accurate eyewitness is more and more being recognized. De Selincourt writes thus: 'As to the reliability of Herodotus's information about Egypt, one can safely say that he is accurate and trustworthy when he describes what he saw with his own eyes. ' ... His turn of mind was skeptical; he was a born investigator. ... Since Herodotus is said to have seen the flying serpents, it would follow that his account is 'accurate and trustworthy.'" (William A. Springstead), "Herodotus, the Bible, and Flying Serpents," BIBLE-SCIENCE NEWS (May 15, 1971), p.5. Ireland (c.900 AD)

An Irish writer recorded an encounter with a large beast with "iron" on its tail which pointed backwards. Its head was shaped a little like a horse's. And it had thick legs with strong claws. These details match features of dinosaurs like the Kentrosaurus (KEN-tro-SOR-us) and Stegosaurus (STEG-oh-SOR-us). They had sharp-pointed spines on their tails, thick legs, strong claws and long skulls.

The dragon was first seen on May 13, 1572, hissing like a snake. He had been hiding on the small estate of Master Petronius near Dosius in a place called Malonolta. At 5 PM, he was caught on a public highway by a herdsman named Baptista of Camaldulus, near the hedge of a private farm, a mile from the remote city outskirts of Bologna. Baptista was following his ox cart home when he noticed the oxen suddenly come to a stop.

He kicked them and shouted at them, but they refused to move and went down on their knees rather than move forward. At this point, the herdsman noticed a hissing sound and was startled to see this strange little dragon ahead of him.

Trembling he struck it on the head with his rod and killed it. Aldrovandus was surprised that the reptile did not run when he saw the man, but instead bravely raised its head and stood its ground.

Aldrovandus reported that it was definitely a reptile and the first of this type that he had seen. The creature was rather strange in appearance, but seemed to be completely harmless. It was a small specimen; Aldrovandus believed that it was only a baby judging by the incompletely developed claws and teeth. The corpse had only two feet.

It moved by slithering like a snake and by using its feet, he believed. It could hiss like a snake and hold its head up in the air. Its slender neck had white markings circling its neck. It had a very long tail and neck and a thick body. Aldrovandus mounted the specimen and put it on display for some time in a museum.

-- Ulysses Aldrovandus, THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SERPENTS AND DRAGONS (Bologna, Italy: Mark Antony Bernia, 1640), p.402. -- Henry F. Scott-Stokes, PERSEUS: OF DRAGONS (NYC: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1925). Has a loose and imcomplete translation of the account.

France and Europe The city of Nerluc in France was renamed in honor of the killing of a "dragon" there. This animal was bigger than an ox and had long, sharp, pointed horns on its head.

There were a number of different horned dinosaurs. The Triceratops (try-SER-ah-tops) is one example. A well-known, old science book, the Historia Animalium, claims that "dragons" were not extinct in the 1500's. But the animals were said to be extremely rare and relatively small by then.

REFERENCES & FOOTNOTES Konrad Gesner, HISTORIAE ANIMALIUM (Tigvri: C. Froschovervm, 1551-1587). Verrill, p.224. The above article is excerpted from:Answers in Genesis.org

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