The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Mantis carving in Iran
Monday 23 March 2020

An article by Katherine J. Wu on smithsonianmag.com - Possible Half-Human, Half-Praying-Mantis Carving Found on Ancient Rocks - reports on an unusual petroglyph found in the Teymareh rock art site of central Iran.

Possible Half Human Praying Mantis Carving Found Ancient Rocks unusual petroglyph central Iran
Possible half-human, half-praying-mantis carving found in central Iran.

The puzzling petroglyph, which bears some resemblance to the 'squatting man' motif, suggests that insects have long held a place in human lore. The glyph is strangely shaped with a spindly body sporting six limbs, a triangular head and two bulging eyes. Described as half human, half praying mantis, the curious figure, described in a paper recently published in the Journal of Orthoptera Research, still largely eludes explanation. But it may represent an insect-themed variant of the so-called “squatting man,” a circle-heavy motif that adorns ancient rock faces found worldwide, according to Daisy Hernandez of Popular Mechanics.

Article continues below
Article continues

First spotted during a series of surveys conducted between 2017 and 2018, the five-and-a-half-inch-long rock carving initially befuddled researchers. Eventually, however, it caught the attention of a team of entomologists and archaeologists who set out to give the glyph a proper story.

Careful inspection led the entomologists to conclude that the carving likely depicted the head and grasping forelimbs of a praying mantis belonging to the genus Empusa, which is native to the region. If so, it is portrayed to suggest a threatening stance, hinting, perhaps, that its creators had reason to admire or even fear the predatory insects.

Hannah Osborne of Newsweek explains that capping the figure’s middle limbs were a pair of closed loops that reminded the researchers of a well-known glyph called the 'squatting man'. Featuring a human-like figure flanked by small circles, the unusually ubiquitous figure - carved into rock faces across several continents - is so bizarre that one researcher has proposed that the circles represent an extreme aurora that may have streaked across the skies worldwide thousands of years ago.

No precise dating of the carving has been established.

click here to see more carvings in Iran

Comment
Rock Art
Ancient Pilbara rock shelters destroyed
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 27 May 2020
Engravings discovered in Sinai Desert
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 06 May 2020
Hunter-gatherers of southern Africa
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 May 2020
Robot draws Chauvet art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 22 April 2020
Carvings discovered in Norway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 April 2020
Uncertain spring
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 10 April 2020
Virtual rock art tours
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 03 April 2020
The Art World Goes Dark
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 27 March 2020
Mantis carving in Iran
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 23 March 2020
Carvings discovered in northern Spain
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 18 February 2020
Rock art expeditions to Baja California
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 January 2020
Australian rock art destroyed by fire
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 08 January 2020
New Publication by Joana Valdez-Tullett
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 11 December 2019
Hunting magic in rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 09 December 2019
Rock art theories
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 06 December 2019
New Nazca geoglyphs discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 November 2019
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
The Final Passage
by Rock Art Network
4 May 2020
ROCK ART
Ancient Pilbara rock shelters destroyed
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 27 May 2020
Engravings discovered in Sinai Desert
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 06 May 2020
Hunter-gatherers of southern Africa
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 May 2020
Robot draws Chauvet art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 22 April 2020
Carvings discovered in Norway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 April 2020
Uncertain spring
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 10 April 2020
Virtual rock art tours
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 03 April 2020
The Art World Goes Dark
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 27 March 2020
Mantis carving in Iran
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 23 March 2020
Carvings discovered in northern Spain
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 18 February 2020
Rock art expeditions to Baja California
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 15 January 2020
Australian rock art destroyed by fire
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 08 January 2020
New Publication by Joana Valdez-Tullett
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 11 December 2019
Hunting magic in rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 09 December 2019
Rock art theories
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 06 December 2019
New Nazca geoglyphs discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 November 2019
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store