Another Antiquated Dinosaur Engraving
Last week we posted our most recent Reason & Revelation article, in which we examined various dinosaur carvings from around the world (see Butt and Lyons, 2008). We highlighted a Stegosaurus from the Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap, Cambodia, an Apatosaurus-like dinosaur from Natural Bridges National Monument in southeastern Utah, and a dinosaur-like figure from the Havasupai Canyon in northern Arizona. Another interesting dinosaur-like engraving lies in the floor of the Carlisle Cathedral in Carlisle, England.
Founded in the 12th century, the Carlisle Cathedral has served as a meeting place for the people of northwest England for 900 years. One of the bishops of Carlisle in the 15th century was Richard Bell. He served in this position for 17 years, resigned in 1495, and died one year later (see Pryde, et al., 1996, p. 236). Bell’s body was then laid to rest in a tomb along a main aisle inside the cathedral. His tomb is inlaid with brass and currently is covered by a protective rug in order to preserve the brass engravings as much as possible. In 2002, the Canon Warden of the cathedral removed the rug in order for United Kingdom resident Philip Bell (apparently no relation to Richard Bell) to examine the tomb. According to Bell,
The brass shows Bishop Richard Bell (1.44 m or 4 ft 8½ inches long) under a Gothic canopy (2.9 m or 9 ft 5 in long), dressed in his full vestments, with his mitre (bishop’s cap) and crosier (hooked staff).
used with permission from CreationOnTheWeb.com
But it is the narrow brass fillet (2.9 m or 9½ ft long), running around the edge of the tomb, that contains the items of particular interest. Owing to the passage of time (and countless thousands of tramping feet!) parts of the fillet have long since been lost, including the entire bottom section. However, in between the words of the Latin inscription, there are depictions of various…fish, an eel, a dog, a pig, a bird… (2003, 25:40).
Most remarkable, however, is an engraving of two animals with long necks and long tails. Although some of the brass engraving is worn due to 500 years of wear and tear, these curious creatures are clearly of some extinct animal. In truth, more than any other creature, they resemble the sauropod dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth.
used with permission from Enlightened.org.uk
What do critics have to say about the engravings? After passing off the animal on the left as “some kind of big cat,” one popular skeptical Web site admitted: “The animal to the right, though, does look rather more like a quadrupedal dinosaur than any other sort of animal, past or present” (“Bishop Bell’s…,” 2007). What’s more, the skeptics acknowledged the unlikelihood of the engraving being a hoax: “In the case of Bishop Bell’s dinosaur, there is no corresponding profit motive, or any other apparent motive; and also, any tampering with the tomb would have to be done in situ, in Carlisle Cathedral, and it is hard to see how a hoaxer could have gone about his work unobserved” (“Bishop Bell’s…”).
It seems clear, even to skeptics, that at least one of the two curious engravings looks like a dinosaur. What is so spectacular about a dinosaur being engraved on a tomb built in 1496? Simply that the engraving is more than 300 years older than the first dinosaur fossils found in modern times. We have no evidence of humans finding dinosaur fossils and reconstructing their skeletons until the middle of the 19th century. So how did someone engrave such a convincing picture of a dinosaur in the late 15th century? The obvious, but often rejected answer, is men once lived with these creatures, and proof of their coexistence is found all over the world in the form of physical, historical, and biblical evidence (Butt and Lyons, 2008; Lyons, 2007; Lyons, 2001). Thus, evolution’s multi-million-year-dinosaur timetable is wrong.
Bell, Philip (2003), “Bishop Bell’s Brass Behemoths,” Creation, 25:40-44, September-November.
“Bishop Bell’s Dinosaurs” (2007), Skepticwiki, June, [On-line], URL: http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Bishop_Bell’s_Dinosaurs.
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2008), “Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I,” Reason & Revelation, 28:17-23, March.
Lyons, Eric (2001), “Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy,” Reason & Revelation, 21:1-7, January.
Pryde, E.B., D.E. Greenway, S. Porter, and I. Roy (1996), Handbook of British Chronology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), third edition.
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