This article is from
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.

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

What about dinosaurs?
by Dr David Catchpoole
US $0.75
Soft Cover
Dire Dragons
by Vance Nelson
US $32.00
Hard Cover
Dragons or Dinosaurs?
by Darek Isaacs
US $16.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

James M.
As noted by others if you respond to creation-deniers they tend not to read responses or go to links that you might share, but it is hard for them to un-see an image. Would it be possible to have a bank of images on this website (and possibly memes with key facts) as a resource so we can find things quickly. I have built up a small collection of dinosaurs in art images but it has taken a while to collect. Is it also possible to get some good closeup images of the vessel from this article?
After googling the image, it is interesting how the juvenile Camarasaurus lentus fossil image has been altered with each usage. Yes, yours is more like the original as far as I can determine, but it tells a story about how we can not accept visual images for the truth today without careful investigation.
Jonathan Sarfati
I recently saw the original juvenile Camarasaurus lentus fossil at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, albeit not in its original posture but with the tail straight up not curled over the back.
Mark S.
Another interesting article, thanks!
The dinosaur subject reminded me of a CMI video on YouTube, where Richard Fangrad was wearing a bow tie à la Bill Nye. The video is serious yet still a bit tongue-in-cheek, and unoffensive.
But, boy-o-boy—lots of atheists/evolutionists certainly took offense—and were vitriolic in their attack.
What I found interesting, too, is the number of times something was said (about dinosaurs, for example) and a CMI response was provided (including links to CMI articles)—but the responses to CMI clearly showed either they articles were not read, or were pre-judged and viewed with prejudice.
I had made the comment to various evolutionist-acquaintances similar to the above “… there are man-made representations of dinosaurs—drawings, carvings, and the like—known from every continent.…” When I ask about the similarities in shapes/proportions of drawings/paintings/sculptures made by artists continents apart, with no appreciable communication between their cultures. Oh, the contortions they co through, trying to come up with a logical response. So much easier, when one believes we co-existed!
Michael B.
Regarding the tightly coiled tail, you had noted the same thing in your article Leonardo’s dragon and we see this as well on wall reliefs at several medieval chateaus in France such as Château de Blois. Their tails seem to be much more controlled, being able to coil tight as a snake does.
Arthur G.
Additional support can be found in this quote from Living fossils: a powerful argument for creation [Emphasis in original—Ed.]:
Few are aware of the great number of mammal species found with dinosaurs. Paleontologists have found 432 mammal species in the dinosaur layers; almost as many as the number of dinosaur species. These include nearly 100 complete mammal skeletons. But where are these fossils? We visited 60 museums but did not see a single complete mammal skeleton from the dinosaur layers displayed at any of these museums. This is amazing. Also, we saw only a few dozen incomplete skeletons/single bones of the 432 mammal species found so far. Why don’t the museums display these mammal fossils and also the bird fossils?

Cf. Kielan-Jaworowska, Z., Cifelli, R.L. and Luo, Z.X., Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs: Origins, Evolution, and Structure, Columbia University Press, NY, 2004.
Miss Yvonne R.
Thank you so much for your presentations on the truth that is of GOD. My long held understanding is human truth is ever changing as we grow in maturity, particularly through our LORD JESUS. Believing the lie of evolution is a nothing experience. Listening to ABC radio, the commentator remarked we have millions of years of human nature and then the same lady asked a question in a quiz programme—if anno domini is after the birth of CHRIST, what is the phrase from Creation to the birth of CHRIST which I did not know, so I am thankful to know. The phrase is anno mundi. The Jewish anno mundi is 3,761 years [BC]. James Ussher (1581–1656), an Irish prelate and scholar, concluded 4,004 years. I am ever thankful to my LORD and SAVIOUR for the knowledge I am gaining from the bible, creation scientists and dictionaries, computers all by GOD giving me HIS discernment. By who GOD is for us, we are safe and secure. Thank you
Geoff C. W.
If there’d been more than one, they could have said, when photographed, “The camera saw us.”

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