by Mary 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • gaiagirl

    Some mythical creatures may have actually been based on fossils of creatures which actually had lived. There are numerous real creatures, now extinct, but known from fossils found in the Middle East and North Africa. One early whale, known as "basilosaurus", is found in large numbers in one region of North Africa known as "the sea of whales" (although now far from the sea). If this region was known 3000 years ago, and bones were seen then, what explanation would have been offered? Leviathan, perhaps? Likewise, many, many locations in the Middle East have turned up skeletons of Neanderthal people. If such skeletons had been found 3000 years ago, say, while digging an irrigation canal, what stories would have been spun to explain them? Nephilim?

  • Sirona

    Whether they existed or didn't, I think that we can learn something from the myths surrounding them.


  • Narkissos
  • jgnat

    Or, these:

  • zagor

    There was a program recently on Discovery Cannel investigating that very topic. At first I thought it was a baloney but then they came up with some dinosaur skeletons that were rather intriguing.

    Who knows maybe there were such creatures and earlier in history there were still stories about them circling around but got lost over the centuries. It's possible.

    I think our problem is that as soon as such things are labeled as dragons or other mythical creatures we tend to dismiss them as fairytales. The problem is really in label not with history. We've got to understand that our ancestors used language and labels that were accessible to them and which made sense to them not to us. Once we get passed our culturally imposed beliefs what is possible, who knows what we can find about the history. So yes, there could have been such creatures, which we today usually labels as dinosaurs.

  • Mary

    But didn't the dinasaur shuffle off this mortal coil 65 million years ago at Noah's Flood? I don't understand how people 2,000 or 3,000 would have even known about dinasaurs...........

  • the_classicist

    Tacitus, in Annals 6.28:

    "During the consulship of Paulus Fabius and Lucius Vitellius, the bird called the phoenix, after a long succession of ages, appeared in Egypt and furnished the most learned men of that country and of Greece with abundant matter for the discussion of the marvellous phenomenon. It is my wish to make known all on which they agree with several things, questionable enough indeed, but not too absurd to be noticed.

    That it is a creature sacred to the sun, differing from all other birds in its beak and in the tints of its plumage, is held unanimously by those who have described its nature. As to the number of years it lives, there are various accounts. The general tradition says five hundred years. Some maintain that it is seen at intervals of fourteen hundred and sixty-one years, and that the former birds flew into the city called Heliopolis successively in the reigns of Sesostris, Amasis, and Ptolemy, the third king of the Macedonian dynasty, with a multitude of companion birds marvelling at the novelty of the appearance. But all antiquity is of course obscure. From Ptolemy to Tiberius was a period of less than five hundred years. Consequently some have supposed that this was a spurious phoenix, not from the regions of Arabia, and with none of the instincts which ancient tradition has attributed to the bird. For when the number of years is completed and death is near, the phoenix, it is said, builds a nest in the land of its birth and infuses into it a germ of life from which an offspring arises, whose first care, when fledged, is to bury its father. This is not rashly done, but taking up a load of myrrh and having tried its strength by a long flight, as soon as it is equal to the burden and to the journey, it carries its father's body, bears it to the altar of the Sun, and leaves it to the flames. All this is full of doubt and legendary exaggeration. Still, there is no question that the bird is occasionally seen in Egypt."

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