ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0158.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: monster of troy; archaeology; Corinthian vase; fossil; Samotherium
Online: 13 December 2018 (06:47:37 CET)
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.