by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The presence of antiquated dinosaur carvings, figurines, paintings, etc. around the world leaves no doubt that the ancients knew what dinosaurs looked like long before man began excavating dinosaur bones and reconstructing their skeletons in modern times. Creationists believe that the ancients’ illustrations of dinosaurs serve as one of the proofs (along with the Bible and history; see Lyons, 2001; Lyons, 2007a; Lyons, 2007b) that dinosaurs and humans previously cohabited Earth. Some have suggested, however, that people living hundreds or thousands of years ago may have simply drawn pictures of dinosaurs based upon fossils they found in rocks. Similar to how modern man creates illustrations, recreations, and CGI movies of dinosaurs based upon the fossil record, ancient man supposedly did the same thing. Is this conclusion reasonable in light of the available evidence?

There actually are several lines of reasoning against interpreting the worldwide, antiquated dinosaur carvings as artwork made only from dinosaur fossils. First, unlike dinosaur drawings made in the 21st century, the dinosaur petroglyphs (carvings), pictographs (paintings), and figurines of antiquity are deeply embedded in a historical context of men living with dinosaur-like reptilian creatures often called dragons (see Lyons, 2007a). If there were no stories or references from history of men living and interacting with dinosaurs, the ancient dinosaur artwork would be less impressive testimony for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans. If the setting of the world thousands of years ago was like today (where men excavate dinosaur bones, reconstruct them, and attempt to draw what they believe the creatures once looked like), then certainly the ancient artwork would be interpreted very differently. However, the historical context of hundreds and thousands of years ago was exactly the opposite of what it is today in reference to dinosaurs. History records how people all over the world told stories of living with “dragons” (i.e., dinosaurs; see Lyons, 2007a)….

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