The Monster of Troy Vase Is Not Based on a Fossil Giraffe

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Julian Monge-Najera

Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: monster of troy; archaeology; Corinthian vase; fossil; Samotherium

It has been proposed that the Monster of Troy, depicted in a 6th Century BC Corinthian vase, is the earliest artistic record of a vertebrate fossil, possibly a Miocene giraffe (Samotherium sp.). I analyzed the giraffe hypothesis under four approaches: a double-blind random design in which 78 biologists compared the vase skull with Samotherium and several reptiles; an informed survey of 30 students who critically assessed the hypothesis; a computerized image comparison; and a morphological comparison. All of them rejected the giraffe hypothesis. Eye and teeth types unambiguously discard a fossil or living mammal as the model, which more probably was an extant carnivorous reptile.

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/201812.0158/v1


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