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Creation 41(4):38–39, October 2019

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A Chinese Camarasaurus?


Photo: Seth JoelDino-wine-vessel-orange@1500w
The Great Bronze Age of China

Evolutionists are quick to say that “everything we know about dinosaurs has been learnt from the study of fossils.”1 Why? Because they believe that humans and dinosaurs have never co-existed. Dinosaurs supposedly died out 66 million years ago leaving only their remains—and humans are supposed to have only come on the scene tens of millions of years later. However, there are manmade representations of dinosaurs—drawings, carvings, and the like—known from every continent except Antarctica.

A sauropod?

A late Eastern Zhou (3rd century BC) wine vessel excavated in 1975 from a tomb in Sanmenxia, Henan Province, China,2 demonstrates this beautifully. Cast in bronze with much of its gold inlay still preserved, the stunning artistry is clear. Looking distinctly dinosaurian are four animals, one featured on each side of the wine vessel, easily recognizable as sauropod dinosaurs. Due to the particularly rounded head at the end of the long thin neck peering over the edge it may very well be depicting a Camarasaurus. The thick muscular legs come down from the body and the tail extends out, suspended in the air, not touching the sides of the vessel.

A hidden agenda?

Photo: Daderot/WikiMediaCamarasaurus-lentus-skull-cast@1500w
A skull of cast of Camarasaurus showing the rounded shape of their head

The wine vessel was photographed and taken on tour in America along with a number of other Chinese archaeological exhibits in 1980–81.3 It is currently on display at the Henan Provincial Museum, China. Interestingly, in the earliest Chinese book on the wine vessel the animals are described as being “in the shape of a dragon”.4 ‘Dragon’ was of course the word used to describe a range of dinosaur-type animals before the more modern word ‘dinosaur’ was coined by Sir Richard Owen in 1841. But in the book written for the American tour four years later, they are described as “long-necked felines”. It should be clear to any observer which words more accurately describe the animals they are looking at.

Accurate depictions

Other bronze items that featured in the same American tour displayed very clear portrayals of other animals such as an elephant, bull, leopard, rhino, ram, tiger, and birds—all in their correct proportions. The accurate details portrayed in such clear representations show they were surely made by someone who was well aware of what these animals looked like. Equally, the person responsible for the wine vessel must have been aware of what a sauropod dinosaur looked like to be able to cast it so well.

Photo: WikiMedia | nps.gov/dino/learn/nature/camarasaurus-lentus.htmCamarasaurus-lentus-Carnegie@1500w
The most complete known sauropod skeleton, a juvenile Camarasaurus lentus. Note the typical ‘dinosaur death pose’ with the neck thrown back, and in this case the tail as well. This is best explained by the dinosaurs being submerged in water around the time of death (see creation.com/water-death-throes). The image above has been altered by Creation editors to match more closely the original fossil.

While depictions of dinosaurs by people in the centuries after the Flood varied, this is a particularly clear example—with the possible exception of the tightly curled-up tail, which may have been an artistic device to save space. (Sauropod tails are thought to have stretched out horizontally.)

Biblical history fits

This Chinese Camarasaurus adds to the ever-expanding wealth of substantial evidence that humans lived with, and depicted, a variety of dinosaurs until relatively recently.5 This fits perfectly with biblical history in which both humans and dinosaurs were created on Day Six of Creation Week. Two pairs of each kind of dinosaur went onto the Ark around 4,500 years ago, along with Noah’s extended family and other land vertebrates. And after coming off, dinosaurs became extinct in the subsequent millennia, just as many other animals have.

Posted on homepage: 6 November 2019

References and notes

  1. Charig, A., A new look at the dinosaurs, British Museum, London, p. 25, 1983. Return to text.
  2. A Selection of Ancient Chinese Bronzes, Wenwu Press, Peking, 1976. Return to text.
  3. Fong, Wen, (Ed.) The Great Bronze Age of China, Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 285, 1980. Return to text.
  4. Ref. 2, p. 19. Return to text.
  5. For other examples see: creation.com/brass-behemoth, creation.com/angkor-dinosaur, and the book Nelson, V., Dire Dragons. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Dire Dragons
by Vance Nelson
US $33.00
Hard cover
Dragons or Dinosaurs?
by Darek Isaacs
US $17.00
Soft cover