Evaluation of the hypothesis of the Monster of Troy vase as the earliest artistic record of a vertebrate fossil
The Monster of Troy, depicted in a 6th Century BC Corinthian vase, has been proposed to be the earliest artistic record of a vertebrate fossil, possibly a Miocene giraffe (Samotherium sp.). The purpose of the paper was to analyze the giraffe hypothesis using four approaches: a double-blind random design in which 78 biologists compared the vase skull with Samotherium and several reptiles; an informed survey of 30 art and science students who critically assessed the hypothesis based on images of candidate species; an objective computerized mathematical comparison of the images; and a detailed morphological comparison of the skulls. All of the participants rejected the giraffe hypothesis. The types of eyes and teeth unambiguously discard a mammal, whether fossil or living, as the model. The model was most likely an extant carnivorous reptile of the Varanidae family.
Bosscher, M. (2014). Mythical monsters and ancient fossils [Message on a blog]. Retrieved from http://hospitem.blogspot.com/2014/07
Delfino, M.; Alba, D.; Carmona, R.; Lujan, A. & Robles, J. (2011). European monitor lizards (Anguimorpha, Varanidae, Varanus): new materials and new perspectives. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31(2), 97-98. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234169755_European_monitor_lizards_Anguimorpha_Varanidae_Varanus_New_materials_and_new_perspectives
Hall-Martin, A. J. (1976). Dentition and age determination of the giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis. Journal of Zoology, 180(2), 263-289. doi https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1976.tb04678.x
Mayor, A. (2000). The “Monster of Troy” Vase: The Earliest Artistic Record of a Vertebrate Fossil Discovery? Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 19(1), 57-63. doi https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0092.00099
Mayor, A. (2011). The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times. New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from https://www.degruyter.com/viewbooktoc/product/451912
Papadopoulos, J. K. & Ruscillo, D. (2002). A Ketos in early Athens: an archaeology of whales and sea monsters in the Greek World. American Journal of Archaeology, 106(2), 187-227. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274417447_A_Ketos_in_Early_Athens_An_Archaeology_of_Whales_and_Sea_Monsters_in_the_Greek_World
Witton, M. (2016). Why Protoceratops almost certainly wasn't the inspiration for the griffin legend [Message on a blog]. Retrieved from https://markwitton-com.blogspot.com/2016/04/why-protoceratops-almost-certainly.html
Copyright (c) 2019 Julián Monge-Nájera (Author)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and guaranteeing the magazine the right to be the first publication of the work as licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this magazine.
2. Authors can set separate additional agreements for non-exclusive distribution of the version of the work published in the journal (eg, place it in an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
Uniciencia Journal and all its productions are under Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 4.0 Unported.
Most read articles by the same author(s)
- Lourdes Arce Espinoza, Julián Monge-Nájera, Hypertension in the National University of Distance Education’s personnel , MHSalud: Revista en Ciencias del Movimiento Humano y Salud: Vol 6 No 1 (2009): Movimiento Humano y Salud