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Need help identifying a strange critter's skeleton on an artifact from Africa.
A respected Egyptologist in Europe who is gathering fossil legends in Egypt
sent me this photo of clay vase decorated with the skeleton of a reptilian
The image is on a small clay vase supposedly from Egypt, date and purpose
uncertain, probably a faked antiquity. But this is not one of those clumsy
attempts to prove that the ancients saw living dinosaurs. Instead it seems to
show a realistic fossilized skeleton of some kind of lizard, but with some
peculiar features, especially the skull. Perhaps it is a souvenir from a
genuine fossil site in North Africa, sold to visitors. The shape of the vase is
like small souvenirs with images of saints, sold to pilgrims to religious sites.
Can anyone identify the model for the skeleton? Does it resemble a known living
reptile? Are there any dinosaurian elements? Could it be a hybrid of living and
Note that the double effect on the limb bones is a common artistic device on
stamped clay images, so that can be ignored. But the details of the skull might
Many thanks in advance for any help or ideas!