There is a bas-relief hidden in plain view at one of the major temples in the ancient Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia that throws an interesting light on whether ancient Hindus had an advanced scientific bent of mind or not.
Built in the early years of the Khmer rule, the temple of Ta Prohm has a unique relief on one of its walls of what appears to be a Stegosaurus.
This is that relief.
For those who have, for a reason best known to them, never seen any of those Jurassic Park movies, this is a Stegosaurus.
Note that everything from the shape of the body to the plates on the back of the Stegosaurus in the image is exactly similar to that in the bas-relief.
What’s so surprising, you ask. The surprising (I would say shocking) thing is that the temple was built in 1186 AD, which is 656 years before the word dinosaur was even coined!
So how did the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer rulers sculpt the exact shape of a Stegosaurus? How is this even possible? Did the Khmer rulers have a Stegosaurus as some exotic pet? Or did they actually find a full-body fossilized skeleton of the herbivorous beast?
An article by Brian Thomas published by ‘Institute for Creation Research’ claims that the ancient Khmer people would not have succeeded in finding a fossil because “the nearest stegosaurus fossils come from faraway China”.
This logic is ABSOLUTELY WRONG. We should first look at the geographic area of the Khmer Empire (coloured in red in the map below).
Now, a research paper published in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History website has already made it clear that the area on which the Khmer kings ruled was rich in dinosaur fossils.
The red dots include collections and occurrences. Note the circled spot in the map. It is the exact same area which was part of the Khmer Empire.
This proves that even during the Khmer reign there must have been occurrences of fossils of dinosaurs. So there is nothing to prove that they did not know how a Stegosaurus looked like.
Another theory claims that it could have been “created” by a movie crew shooting any one of those ‘Lara Croft’ film series.
This, too, does not holds water because it is outlandish to even assume that a film crew would carve a bas-relief of such artistic merit on an ancient structure that is classified and protected under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
There is nothing to conclusively prove that the bas-relief of the dinosaur was not carved by the Khmer people. It lies in a corner of the temple walls, which itself is neatly hidden by a maze of tree branches that have grown around, inside and over the temple.
The temple complex of Ta Prohm. Wikimedia Commons
Ancient Hindu science was quite advanced for the time. They indeed made several notable achievements
in almost every scientific discipline ranging from surgery to astronomy.
In fact, the entire temple complex of the Angkor Wat was built according to Vaastu Shastra – the science of architecture. Look at how majestically it stands even now.
So if the scientifically advanced ancient Hindus came upon a fossil of a stegosaurus, would they not be able to make a near approximate model out of it? The question, therefore, is: Why are some forces trying to prove that the bas-relief is a fake? As is always the case
, the problem for the West and the West-backed historians in this case is the fact that an ancient Hindu (later Buddhist) empire was aware of a species long extinct much, much before them.