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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2008

A Goat, an Elephant, and ...a DINOSAUR!!!

In the fall of 1924, archaeologist Samuel Hubbard, along with several others, visited an area of the Grand Canyon known as the Havasupai Canyon. Hubbard and his team of scientists and photographers observed a lot of interesting rock art on the canyon walls during this trip. Hubbard was not merely impressed with the fact that the ancients drew and carved images on rock, or that the rock art showed every sign of being very old. More than anything else, Hubbard was amazed by the kind of animals the ancients had carved.

Hubbard’s team discovered carvings of wild goats, called ibexes. Even though, according to Hubbard, “no ibex, not even fossil ones, have ever been found in America,” the presence of ibex images at Havasupai and other places out West seems to indicate that these animals once inhabited the Grand Canyon region. After all, how could the ancients have inscribed such accurate pictures of them, if they had never seen them?

On one rock wall in the Havasupai Canyon, just above a group of ibex images, is a carving of an elephant. The remains of elephants have been found all over North America and prove that they once roamed this continent. And, for the ancients to have drawn images of these massive creatures with long trunks, it makes sense that early Native Americans must have seen elephants. Interestingly, the inscriptions at Havasupai even show an elephant hitting a man with its trunk.

Ancient American elephant and ibex rock art is amazing in and of itself, as is the American rhinoceros carved on a rock wall near Moab, Utah. But, what caught Hubbard’s attention more than anything else at Havasupai was a figure even more deeply cut into the sandstone wall than the elephant. Its height was 11.2 inches, its neck was approximately 5.1 inches in length, and its tail was about 9.1 inches. What kind of animal is it? What kind of animal had a long neck, long tail, wide body, and once roamed northern Arizona? Hubbard believed that he had found an ancient drawing of a dinosaur. He said: “The fact that some…man made a pictograph [rock art] of a dinosaur on the walls of this canyon upsets completely all of our theories regarding the antiquity of man…. The fact that the animal is upright and balanced on its tail would seem to indicate that the prehistoric artist must have seen it alive.”

Once again, we have a carving of an animal that looks more like a dinosaur than any other animal, living or extinct. What’s more, all of the evidence points to the carving being genuine. Finally, dinosaur fossil footprints found about 100 miles away from Havasupai prove that dinosaurs once lived in the same general area of the dinosaur-like rock art. Again, we ask: How could man have drawn such an accurate picture of a creature he supposedly had never seen?

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