Ancient Terra Cotta Depicts Dinosaur?--or "Ritual" Object?
CACHI: At the foot of the 19,000 foot Nevado del Cachi, Cachi is a beautiful little town. Founded in 1694, it is well known for its weaving and crafts. There is an interesting archaeological museum with artifacts from the pre-colonial Calchaqui culture. regarded to be best museum of its kind in Argentina.
So, Mr. Museum Director, what is that animal there? "That is the gato. (cat). And this one here? That is the perro (dog). And sir, what animal is this one? Oh, claro, that is the ritual object."
In this section of the site, we have demonstrated, we think anyway that animals we call dinosaurs existed contemporaneously with some of our ancestors and that like other animals living at the time were captured in the artwork, history and literature of those times.
Perhaps, after all this piece from the Chachi museum really is a ritual object and not an animal alive at that time as some others depicted in the art of the Calchaqui culture ( from 900 BC to 1471 BC )were.
Maybe we here at s8int.com are crying "wolf" too often. However, the museum itself did not consider the sculpture to represent an alpaca or llama and the legs aren't right. They're much sturdier. Also, the figure has the birdlike aspect of some of the crested dinosaurs.
The Antarctosaurus, (fig 2) is one of the 12 dinosaurs
discovered in Argentina according to the DinoDirectory
Another problem is that often the contemporary artists who are drawing dinosaurs from fossils don't agree as to exactly what the creature looked like. For instance forget about comparing the tails since as far as we know the tail of the Antarctosaurus wasn't found. This put them at a disadvantage in our opinion to the native artists drawing from life.
As Rod Serling used to say before each episode of the Twilight Zone, "submitted for your approval". As always, you have to decide for yourself.
The Calchaqui Culture
"We can see though that the It is about one of the richest cultures with respect to variety and design. The pattern followed in the decoration is almost always asymmetric, even though the finished works keeps up a perfect harmony, made up of multiple zoomorphos elements: suri, serpents, toads and geometrical ones: rhombuses, frets, through simple direct linear treproduction.
The figures of batrachians and the representations of suris and condors, as well as a great variety of snakes which are sometimes bicephalous and in almost all the cases human faces, represented with a pair of eyes, many times with tears, mouths almost always squares with teeth, hands and arms, many times in relief holding offering glasses, constitute a very characteristic style.
The name of Culture, Town and Calchaquies Valleys is due to one of their main chiefs: "Juan Calchaqui", a brave and strategic fighter. He destroyed three towns: Cordoba, Cañete and Londres, bein left in power of Spanish only Santiago del Estero. He had more than 20.000 warriors. His successor "Silpitocle", was obliged to go to Santiago del Estero with all his people leaving his lands.
Our poll of several months ended with approximately 18.8% selecting a llama as the correct response to this representation (top of page), 40% selecting the Antarctosaurus pictured in Figure 2 above, zero percent choosing "mythological". The rest of the vote was split between Sauroluphus, (figure 3), the Trachodon (figure 4.)and "other".