The Ica Burial Stones:
Imagine riding triceratops. Imagine running from allosaurus. Imagine watching brachiosaurus eating leaves from the tops of the trees. Consider the possibilities of man and dinosaurs living and interacting together. Does this idea sound preposterous? The Ica stones may convince you otherwise.
The Ica stones were found in the desert near Ica Peru. They range in size from the size of an egg to the size of a large coffee table. Each of the stones is covered with carved pictures of mostly people and animals...including dinosaurs! The native Americans that lived in the area placed the stones in the tombs of their dead, and it is thought that the stones might depict scenes from the deceased person’s life. We don’t know who the people were that carved the pictures on the stones, but because of their location and the look of the artwork, it is believed that they were carved between 500 A.D. and 1500 A.D. by the Nazca culture (1).
Historical records first mention the Ica stones in the early 1500's (2). Spanish priests traveling in the area said that they had found stones depicting carvings of "strange creatures." Today we know that many of those "strange creatures" were dinosaurs. But in the 1500's the word dinosaur had not yet been invented, and dinosaur fossils had not yet been found.
On some of the stones one can clearly recognize pictures of stegosaurus and triceratops. Interestingly enough, the first fossils of the stegosaurus and the triceratops were not discovered until the late 1800's–at least 700 years after the Ica stones are supposed to have been carved. If these stones were truly of ancient origin, they would mark a ponderous threat to the evolutionary timescale.
In many circles, the Ica stones are said to be hoaxes; forgeries created in the 1950's-60's by destitute Peruvian farmers (3). If this is true, then the Ica stones are of no interested whatsoever to the evolutionary timescale (or anything, for that matter). However, let's take a look at some evidence that this is not the case.
It is interesting to note that the sauropod or long-necked dinosaurs pictured on the stones have spikes on their backs called dermal spines. Paleontologists did not know that sauropods had dermal spines until 1992. This flies in the face of the claim that the Ica burial stones were forgeries made in the 1950's and 60's, because forgers of that time would not have put spikes on the backs of their sauropods! At that time it was not known that sauropods had dermal spines (4).
Some more Sauropod evidence for the authenticity of the Ica stones is the skull of the dinosaur Brontosaurus (actually Apatosaurus). The Ica stones show images of Brontosaurus with a long skull. However, until 1979, scientists believed that Brontosaurus had a short skull. 1979 was the year scientists discovered that Brontosaurus was a mistake. They had placed the wrong head on it! The correct skull, instead of being short in length and having leaf like teeth, was long and had pencil like teeth. The Ica stones were found to be correct again. (Update: In recent years, scientists have determined that a separate type of brontosaurus actually did have a short skull).
More evidence for the Ica stone's ancient authenticity is seen in scientific lab tests that have been run on them. The tests show that large amounts of patina and "desert varnish" buildup (5) on the stones also cover the carvings, proving their antiquity, along with bacterial and algal corrosion that would have taken many years in a desert climate (6).
So how could people from the 500's through the 1500's have made accurate carvings of dinosaurs long before dinosaur fossils had been discovered? Why did 1/3 of the more than 11,000 Ica burial stones depict dinosaurs, pterosaurs, or plesiosaurs? Why did the carvings show people and dinosaurs interacting?
It appears that dinosaurs must have been an important part of the ancient peoples lives.
Image Credit: Genesis Park
Jonathan Schulz, 2013
This article is the property of Jonathan Schulz and Creation v. Evolution Debate
Special thanks to Dr. Don Patton and Dave Woetzel for reviewing this article!
1. Secrets of the Ica Stones and Nazca Lines, by Dr. Dennis Swift