February 5, 2006

Stegosaur in Cambodia?

What real evidence exists for dinosaurs having survived into more contemporary times? What are we to make of the carving of a Stegosaur (Stegosaur stenops) on an ancient Cambodian temple at Angkor Wat?

Cambodian Dinosaur

Click image for full-size version

Cambodian Dinosaur

This carving is now being shown to tourists, proclaiming it is a dinosaur. Such a situation, thusfar, has only caused a few comments online, at such locations as the Unexplained Earth webpage last summer, as well as other sites.

But all this appears to be changing, with more and more attention to this item. For example, there is new talk of this on the Interactive Bible site, giving this background to the location:

The magnificent jungle temples of Cambodia were produced by the Khmer civilization, beginning as early as the eighth and extending through the fourteenth century A.D. One of, if not the greatest monarchs and monument builders of this empire was Jayavarman VII, crowned supreme king in 1181. Portrait statues, depicting him meditating in the fashion of Buddha, have been found throughout the region. An excellent example can be seen in the National Museum Of Cambodia in Phnom Pehn. He built the beautiful temple monastery Ta Prohm in honor of his mother, dedicating it in 1186.

These awesome temples were rediscovered by Portuguese adventurers and Catholic missionaries in the 16th century and many were restored in 19th and 20th centuries. Ta Prohm, one of the most picturesque, was left in its natural state. It recently gained international attention as the setting for the first Laura Croft movie.

It has been on Ta Prohm, which abounds with carvings of all sorts of local animals, where a carving of a Stegosaur has been discovered.

Cambodian Dinosaur

Click image for full-size version

How could this have happened?

Did the prop crew of the Laura Croft movie pull off a prank, and restore the temple, placing onto this wall a dinosaur facade? If you will note, on the photos, the panel seems to be of a lighter shade of gray. Is this due to it being kept cleaner for tourists, or because this is a newly added panel?

Perhaps it is nothing more than a rhinoceros? There is speculation that at one time or another Cambodia had Indian, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos living in the country.

Or have Stegosaurs roamed Cambodia, less than 1000 years ago and Angkor’s master artists created a representation of one, on a temple?

How certain religious groups may wish to use this material to promote their belief systems is of no concern to me, as long as what they are pointing out is precise and without fakery. In this case, I am sincerely interested in securing tangible, scientific evidence via cultural artifacts of the rather unbelievable thought of dinosaur survival, if it exists. If it is a hoax, I want to pursue that to that end result, too.

Cambodian Dinosaur

Click image for full-size version

What do you think?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Share this:

Filed under Breaking News, Cryptotourism, CryptoZoo News, Cryptozoology, Living Dinosaurs, Out of Place