Tuesday, October 11, 2016
DINOSAURS IN ROCK ART? THE BLACK DRAGON CANYON PTEROSAUR - REVISITED:
Drawing of the traditional image
of the supposed "pterosaur" in
Black Dragon Canyon, UT. From
Geggel, 2015, Photos:'Winged Monster'
Rock Art in Black Dragon Canyon',
August 18, 2015,
On May 24, 2014, I posted a column titled DINOSAURS IN ROCK ART? - THE BLACK DRAGON CANYON PTEROSAUR, about the supposed pictograph of a pterosaur seen on a cliff wall in Utah. In that column I stated: "To me one of the strangest sub-studies of the field of rock art consists of attempts of creationists and evolution deniers to find dinosaurs in rock art. Apparently this is to prove that humans and dinosaurs lived concurrently because that is the only way primitive people would have their examples to portray. As best I can tell this is the work of a group of creationists who ascribe to the theory that the bible says the earth is only 6,000 years old based upon 17th century Bishop Usher’s calculation that “the first day of creation began at nightfall preceding Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC” (Wikipedia), so dinosaurs and humans have to have coexisted." (Faris 2014)
Chalked pictograph in Black Dragon
Canyon, UT. Public Domain.
I then continued, citing Phil Senter whose July 2012 exploration of the subject (Rock Art “Dinosaurs”, More “Dinosaur” and “Pterosaur” Rock Art That Isn’t, Palaeontolical Association) took on the crazy ideas of creationists and evolution-deniers directly. I wrote "Whatever their motivation, there are a few tired examples that get trotted out over and over to supposedly prove that there are indeed portrayals of dinosaurs in rock art. Of these, perhaps the most ubiquitous example is the supposed pterosaur pictograph in Utah’s Black Dragon Canyon. In 2012 Phil Senter stated “An alleged pterosaur painting in Black Dragon Canyon, Utah, is actually not a single painting. Its "head" and "neck" are a painting of a person with outstretched arms. Its torso and limbs are those of a painting of a second person with outstretched arms, whose body continues into the "pterosaur's" "wing." The other "wing" is a painting of a horned serpent. The three paintings only appear connected because someone outlined the group with chalk.” (Senter 2012)" (Faris 2014)
Phil Senter's analysis of the image.
Senter presented a detailed analysis showing that the supposed pterosaur was a combination of smaller painted (and quite faded) Fremont images. An August 18, 2015 article in LiveScience written by Laura Geggel, and titled "Photos: 'Winged Monster' Rock Art in Black Dragon Canyon'" presents a project that resulted in even better analysis of the image and shows the original imagery in greater detail using DStretch analysis of high quality photographs of the panel.
The new DStretch analysis of the
pictograph, Black Dragon Canyon, UT.
Now a more recent (2015) analysis of the image of the supposed "pterosaur" in Black Dragon Canyon has utilized DStretch to provide even more detail of the real image. This study was conducted by Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, Paul Bahn and Marvin Rowe, ("The Death of a Pterodactyl," Antiquity, Volume 89, p 872-884, 2015, Copyright Antiquity Publications Ltd., published by Cambridge University Press.), and reported on in LiveScience by Laura Geggel in her article Photos: 'Winged Monster' Rock Art in Black Dragon Canyon, August 18, 2015. Where Senter had conclusively proven that the image was not a pterosaur, but was instead a combination of Fremont pictographs including a pair of anthropomorphs, a pair of animals, and a long sinuous image which might represent a therianthropomorphic figure, Le Quellec, Bahn, and Rowe, have now given us even more detailed images of the original Fremont figures, and even more proof of the fallacy of the Creationist position. And, thank you to Laura Geggel and LiveScience for making this accessible. Go to
http://www.livescience.com/51892-photos-utah-rock-art.html to read the whole article and see a number of detailed photographs.
2014 Dinosaurs in Rock Art? The Black Dragon Canyon Pterosaur, May 24, 2014, httpp://rockartblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Black%20Dragon%20Canyon
2015 Photos:'Winged Monster' Rock Art in Black Dragon Canyon', August 18, 2015, http://www.livescience.com/51892-photos-utah-rock-art.html
Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, Paul Bahn and Marvin Rowe,
2015 The Death of a Pterodactyl, Antiquity, Volume 89, p 872-884, 2015, Copyright Antiquity Publications Ltd., published by Cambridge University Press.
2012 Rock Art “Dinosaurs”, More “Dinosaur” and “Pterosaur” Rock Art That Isn’t, Palaeontolical Association, July 2012. (http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2012-issue-2-articles/275-rock-art-dinosaurs).