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Dinosaurs In Literature, History and Art: A Day at the Marsh in 650 B.C. Assyria
What's That Peeking from The Ferns?........Page 81

by Terrence P., Copy Right 2008

"The Arjan Bowl". Ancient Iran, from circa 800 B.C. to 525 B.C. Click and drag to resize.

In 1982 the discovery of the “Arjan tomb,” a rich burial deep in the Zagros mountains of southern Iran. Brought to light a number of precious and non-precious metal objects. When the first detailed description of the tomb and its contents appeared in English in 1985 the bronze bowl was merely described as a “large shallow

This ancient, possibly Assyrian or Elamite "bowl" manufactured as long ago as 800 B.C. is ringed around its circumference with a variety of graphics called registers. These graphics depict various aspects of ancient life.

One of the registers depicts hunters, soldiers and other men engaged in hunting and other practices at an ancient marsh.

Much has been written and speculated about concerning the various ancient graphics; indeed several have written doctoral dissertations concerning various aspects of the artifact.

Here at, there was a primary question about one of the registers that immediately came to mind; "hey, what's that thing peeking out from beind those ancient ferns!".(That's how we talk)

Here's a hint:


Top; "Unknown" creature among the reeds and ferns of the marsh. Bottom: Brachiosaurid, a plant eating sauropod for comparison. Notethe telltale brachiosaurid skull bump.

Job 40:15-24, "Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword. The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby.

Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him. When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth. Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?"

Many have thought this to be a description of an elephant or a hippopotamus, however, the discovery of dinosaur bones reveals this to more accurately describe a brachiosaurus or a diplodocus.

More About the Bowl

"In 1982 in the vicinity of Arjan, 10 km north of Behbahan, a city in the southwest part of Iran a bronze bowl measuring 43.5 cm in diameter was found inside a rectangular tomb built of stone slabs. The expense implicit in the construction of the tomb and the luxurious items found inside suggests that its occupant enjoyed a status of wealth and high rank.

The bowl was engraved with five concentric registers around a rosette and contained an inscription in the Elamite language reading "Kidin-Hutran son of Kurlush.” Although three kings of the Middle Elamite II period (c.1400-1200 B.C.) were bearers of the name Kidin-Hutran (Potts 1999b: 231), this name is otherwise absent from the Neo-Elamite period (c.1000-539 B.C.).

In contrast, a Neo-Elamite tablet identifies an individual named Kurlush as a provider of garments for the Elamite court at Susa. In addition, a Neo-Elamite cylinder seal, also found at Susa, refers to “Kurlush, father of Parsirra.”

The Elamite language specialist F. Vallat suggests these three individuals — Kurlush father of Kidin-Hutran, Kurlush the merchant from Susa, and Kurlush the father of Parsirra— to be one and the same person, having lived sometime between 646 and 525 B.C. (Vallat 1984: 4).

A. Alizadeh however stresses what he takes to be an absence of concrete data on the development of the Elamite language during the first centuries of the 1st millennium B.C. and instead, locates the Arjan bowl inscription in the first half of the eighth century B.C.(Alizadeh 1985: 56).

Panel containing marsh scene.Unknown craeture; far left. Source:COSMOLOGICAL & IDEOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE ARJAN BOWL,By: Javier Alvarez-Mon .

In addition, a study of iconographical and stylistic elements in the Arjan bowl by Y. Majidzadeh places its manufacture sometime between 725 to 625 B.C. ( Majidzadeh 1990; 141).

Finally, a forthcoming article by David Stronach of the gold “ring” found in the Arjan tomb—also containing the inscription “Kidin-Hutran son of Kurlush”— traces its making to around the beginning of the sixth century B.C.(Stronach 2003).

Altogether, the chronological frame recommended by the previous scholars gives a broad time span of circa 275 years (from c. 800 to 525 B.C.) for the possible manufacture of the Arjan bowl.

.......I shall try to persuade the reader that the images portrayed in the Arjan bowl are structurally divided into a series of consecutive episodes, the sequence of which is organized along ideological grounds. This correspondence between content and structure reveals itself first to the viewer across a division of five registers and one rosette separated by concentric circles and intertwined guilloche bands.

Panel containing marsh scene. .

Carefully distributed among these registers lies a universe of miniature forms inhabited by 112 human figures, 66 animals of 33 species, diverse trees, and various artifacts In seeking to compare the Arjan Bowl with the metallic bowls known as Phoenician and distributed throughout the Near East and the Mediterranean during the first millennium B.C. (Markoe 1985), I take up a position which stands in sharp contrast to an alternative view stressing the ornamental value of the bowls.

An additional panel from the Arjan Bowl. .

As we shall see, the adaptation of a typical Phoenician style by the Arjan bowl reveals the enormous influence of the Phoenician carving and engraving schools in articulating a distinctive international style (Markoe 1985: 15) of the period in question.

Yet, I shall contend, the particular Phoenician stylistic vocabulary of the Arjan bowl did not preclude the artist, or whoever commissioned the work, from taking “infinite care to unify and integrate its decorations (and narratives) within a highly (Neo-Elamite) individual format.”

Furthermore, the exceptional dimensions of the Arjan bowl, which reach a diameter of 43.5 cm and a depth of 8.5 cm, and which set it apart from any other “Phoenician” or Neo-Assyrian bowl, also call in question its functional usage." ......COSMOLOGICAL & IDEOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE ARJAN BOWL By: Javier Alvarez-Mon


"Brachiosauridae are a family of dinosaurs, whose members are known as brachiosaurids. They were herbivorous quadrupeds with longer forelegs than hind legs - the name derives from the Greek for arm lizard - and long, 45-degree angle necks. Despite their apparently distinctive features, there is some dispute as to whether Brachiosauridae is really a distinct family or a collection of basal Titanosauriformes. As a result, there is also some dispute about which animals belong within this family.

Brachiosaurus.Their masses would have ranged from 20 to 90 tonnes, and their unusually long and upright necks gave them access to the leaves of treetops that would have been inaccessible to other sauropods.

Their long and spatulate (spoon-shaped) teeth were capable of processing tougher plant material than some other sauropods (such as Diplodocus). Some palaeontologists had speculated that if they could have reared upon their hind-limbs even higher branches could be reached.

However, their short tail and hind-limbs would have placed the creatures centre of gravity quite far forward, and made such an action difficult.

Brachiosaurids existed until at least the late Campanian era (71-83 mya), as caudal vertebrae from that era have been found in Mexico . Brachiosaurid fossils were first found in Africa in the early 20th Century, and are now known to have existed in Europe and North America. The first evidence of brachiosaurids in Asia was recovered in 2001 although the find consisted only of a few teeth"...Wikipedia

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