Archaeological Finds Relevant To Cryptozoology
One science that cryptozoology interacts with on several occasions is archaeology. Several artifacts suggest that animals presumed extinct or unknown were encountered by ancient cultures, one famous example being the chariot ring found at Kish. Dated to around 2,500 BC it has been suggested that this artifact represents a late surviving Sivatherium (an animal related to both the giraffe and the okapi, which had antler-like structures and is presumed extinct before the age in which the artifact was made) that was tame and kept captive. Since this artifact had been discovered, it has been announced that broken off pieces of the ends of the supposed antler-like structures have been found and has been used as evidence that the artifact represents a deer but this does not explain certain other features of the artifact or that other artifacts seem to depict similar animals. Archaeological finds from other regions depict animals thought extinct. These include bronze artifacts from the Warring States period of Shanxi Province that depict animals resembling the hyrax but with features suggesting a semi-aquatic lifestyle, suggesting that the animals depicted are the large, semi-aquatic Pliohyrax which once inhabited the region. Two gold belt plaques of the Sakik of Siberia, 12 cm long by 7.4 cm wide and 137 g in wieght depict what look similar to a supposedly extinct chalicothere, an animal related to the horse but with large claws . At Tiahuanaco in Bolivia, is represented several times an animal that has been identified as Toxodon, an animal resembling the hippopotamus and thought to have become extinct thousands of years before. Other animals thought to have died out in the region at this time have been suggested to be depicted at Tiahuanaco around 1,500 years ago. On some occasions actual remains have been found by archaeologists such as the neanderthal skull found at Podkumok in the Caucasus mountains alongside artifacts from the bronze age, which is relevant because neanderthal-like cryptids are still reported from this region. Another anomalous find of a primate was at the Sierra National Forest in Caliafornia where part of a skull was discovered that a pathologist suspected belonged to a non-human primate due to the length and to pronounced development of the nuchal ridge. A second opinion on this specimen confirmed that the skull was unusual. These are just some examples that demonstrate how archaeology can be relevant to cryptozoology.
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