[Article] Lord Charlemont's Travels in Greece by Hugh C. S. Ferguson

By Hugh C. S. Ferguson

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And the new details were consistent with the original framework of quadruped bird. Something real must have continued to confirm the most remarkable features about griffins: They had four legs but also a beak; they were found in deserts near gold. What kind of physical evidence might have verified their existence for so many people over so many centuries? I studied two other legendary creatures that had been inspired by observations of the fossils of extinct mammals. 8. Dragon statue at Klagenfiirt, Austria, sculpted by Ulrich Vogelsang in 1590.

T h e body of the hatchet-faced Protoceratops is about 6 to 8 feet (about 2 m) long, roughly the size of a lion, and has four limbs, but the head has a nasty-looking beak, large eye sockets, and a thin, bony frill at the back of the skull (figs. 10, 1 . 1 1 ) . 5 m) Psittacosaurus ("parrot-beaked") has very prominent jugals, or cheek projections. In these deserts, the exquisitely preserved skeletons are frequently fully articulated, with the beaked skulls still attached. "Tiny surface features—grooves and pits that mark the routes of blood vessels and nerves"—are still evident.

C . 1 T r a d e r o u t e s b e w e e n t h e M e d i t e r r a n e a n a n d A s i a . 4. C. tomb at Pazyryk, northern slopes of the Altai Mountains. Drawing by author. headed griffins can be seen in Mycenaean art of the Greek Bronze Age (ca. 1 2 0 0 B . C . ) . As a student o f ancient folklore, I regretted that there was no way to know what kind of stories, if any, corresponded to those images. B u t with Aristeas and the Greek and Roman writers who followed him, I could relate the snippets of folk knowledge about the griffins of Issedonia to the artistic images of the same era.

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