Stegosaurus Dinosaur Carved on Ancient Hindu Temple in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
1. Stegosaur Carving on a Cambodian Temple.
2. Dinosaurs in ancient Cambodian temple.
3. Stegosaurus carving at 800 year old Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia.
4. Evidence of Dinosaurs at Ta Prohm Hindu Temple in Angkor Wat.
Various messages shared heavily online, on social media as well as news websites, claim that a Stegosaurus (a type of Dinosaur) Carving has been found inside 800 year old ancient Hindu Ta Prohm Temple in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. It is suggested as an evidence to say that the Hindus in that era already knew about the existence of Dinosaurs long before the westerners discovered them. So let us analyze in detail whether the carving in ancient Cambodian temple could be Stegosaurus or not.
About the Hindu Temple and Carving
Ta Prohm, originally called Rajavihara, is a historical temple built in the late 1100s (during the early years of the Khmer rule) in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. It houses some huge trees that gnarl around the temple, and away from them, at one corner of the temple, there’s a vertical series of wall carvings of small animals like monkeys and birds. But what caught the attention of many people is a small and unique carving of what is said to be a Stegosaurus. Shown in the video is a glimpse of the temple along with the Dinosaur (Stegosaurus) carving in question.
Various Theories about the Carving
According to one popular theory, mostly coming from westerners, the carving on the wall of Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia is not a Dinosaur at all, but some kind of known animal with funky decorative touches. Another theory suggests the fin-like blades running down the back of ‘Stegosaurus’ are actually palm leaves and that the carving shows a Cow or Rhino with a palm tree in the background. There is also the version saying the Stegosaurus story is a recently-carved hoax; that it is fabricated. However, there are plausible reasons to say the carving was not fabricated.
Some people said the area of the stegosaur appears lighter than its surroundings; suggesting it could be carved recently (see the picture above). The fact of the matter being, that part of the carving was actually cleaned by the famous photographer Michael Freeman. In a closer look at the image, you can see the “patina” is still visible in some regions like under the tail, chin, and in front of both legs. Moreover, the ancient Ta Prohm temple is classified and protected under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. And as a matter of fact, the same author and photographer Michael Freeman, whose work has been published in leading magazines like GEO, The Sunday Times Magazine, the Smithsonian, and Life, has said in his book ‘Angkor: Cities And Temples‘ that the carving in Cambodian temple was “an animal which bears a striking resemblance to a stegosaurus“.
The website mnh.si.edu related to Smithsonian Institution shows a database of all known Dinosaur occurrences on Earth, i.e. locations where dinosaur fossils have been found. Note that the region marked in the Cambodia map (picture above) actually shows the Angkor, Khmer region in Cambodia, suggesting there must have been occurrences of Dinosaur fossils even during the Khmer reign. Considering these aspects, some theorists suggested the possibility that ancient Khmers (Hindus) could have come across a fossil of a Stegosaurus, and the artist who carved the structure on Cambodian temple wall could have made an approximate model of it.
So the mysterious carving inside the 800 year old ancient Hindu Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia does depict a Stegosaurus, and it is possible that ancient Hindus in the Khmer era already knew about the existence of Dinosaurs long before the westerners discovered them.
Hoax or Fact:
Possibly Fact. The Stegosaurus Dinosaur is Possibly Carved by Ancient Hindus.