Ancient humans were dino fans

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Always appealing to a science nerd, if occasionally over applied, that thrilling and fantastical mythology is the product of ancient discovery of prehistorical fossils and whatnot. (y’know: prehistorical elephant-oid skull discovered in Crete → cyclops!)
Here’s maybe one of the more enthusiastic books on this topic: The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times


I am trying to figure out how per-historical man and ancient man interacted with fossils. Some stuff like shells and crinoid stems are so plentiful, you can’t not see them. Same with like Trilobites in some places, and the look like weird bugs or maybe shellfish.

That book looks really interesting. Maybe it would answer some questions. I would imaging larger bones might have given rise to the dragon myth (though I wonder why they weren’t incorporated into ceremonial objects, or used by rulers to represent power. Or maybe they were, but while I have seen old scepters and rods, never have I seen like a dinosaur or extinct mammal bone incorporated in one.

Crinoid disks can be in found individually and look ready made to string together. I think there were some star shaped ones that were given the name Fairy Coins in Europe.


IIRC they have found dinosaur “hero bones” buried under greek temples, and some mythological creatures were based on dinosaur bone fossils. The griffon may have been based on triceratops fossils.


I think the Chinese ground up the “dragon bones” they found as medicine. I think they’re probably was a lot of dinosaur bones used as totems, but maybe part of the process of governments taking over control from the previous government means that those totems only survived a few cycles of use questions before they were destroyed.

I also wonder if the church may have been behind some of the destruction, if they connected dragons to the Serpent.

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I kind of always assumed dragons and other mythical creatures were prehistoric bone deposits that jumbled up a couple different critters. That book sounds awesome.


It’s a warning:
“Beware of the giant bird!”


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