Six limbs ancient mantis-man discovered in Iran
Tehran (IP) - A six limbs carving rock found in central Iran by a team of Iranian and foreign entomologists, archaeologist and rock art experts.
Iran Press/Iran news: A unique rock carving found in the Teymareh rock art site (Khomein county) in Central Iran with six limbs has been described as part man, part mantis. Rock carvings, or petroglyphs, of invertebrate animals, are rare, so entomologists teamed up with archaeologists to try and identify the motif.
They compared the carving with others around the world and with the local six-legged creatures which its prehistoric artists could have encountered.
The 14-centimeter carving was first spotted during surveys between 2017 and 2018, but could not be identified due to its unusual shape. The six limbs suggest an insect, while the triangular head with big eyes and the grasping forearms are unmistakably those of a praying mantid, a predatory insect that hunts and captures prey like flies, bees and even small birds.
An extension on its head even helps narrow the identification to a particular genus of mantids in this region: Empusa.
Experts Jan Brouwer and Gus van Veen examined the Teymareh site and estimated the carvings were made 40,000-4,000 years ago.
Even more mysterious are the middle limbs, which end in loops or circles. The closest parallel to this in archaeology is the 'Squatter Man,' a petroglyph figure found around the world depicting a person flanked by circles. While they could represent a person holding circular objects, an alternative hypothesis is that the circles represent auroras caused by atmospheric plasma discharges.