Scientists Discovered an Unusual Rock Carving in Iran
Wed, April 21, 2021

Scientists Discovered an Unusual Rock Carving in Iran

 

Engraved rock art, also called petroglyphs, were used as a means of communication during the time of our cave-dwelling human ancestors. Often, they used this to express their feelings and opinions. Archaeologists now have to figure out the meaning behind a mysterious stone carving showing a mantis with long praying limbs, triangular head, and oversized eyes.

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

The stone carving, which the researchers called “Squatter Mantis Man,” was discovered at Iran’s famed Teymareh archaeological site located in the province of Markazi in 2017. The team had a hard time figuring out what the carving was all about because it not only looks like a mantis but it is also comparable to a distinct petroglyph that has strange loops or circles known as “Squatter Man.” The petroglyph is the oldest-known supernatural depiction related to the praying mantis as it’s about 4,000 to 40,000 years old. 

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting



According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the researchers have a few theories behind its creation. For them, the mysterious petroglyph suggests that praying mantids were animals of mysticism and appreciation in prehistory. They think that it is somehow related to the use of hallucinogenic plants. The researchers also theorized that humans admired the mantids for their hunting ability or they were an inspiration to the hunters within their clans.

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

Aside from that, praying mantids could camouflage themselves with their environment, another ability likely coveted by prehistoric humans. However, it’s still not sure whether or not the Squatting Mantis Man could be called the world’s oldest petroglyph, replacing the 39,000-year-old carving found in Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar six years ago. Radiocarbon dating isn’t an option due to Iran’s strict sanctions. Thus, the team had to use a chronological survey of the region. 

 

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