The so-called Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is one of the most impressive and mysterious artifacts of the ancient state of Assyria, which arose about 4,500 years ago on the territory of modern Iraq.
Archaeologists excavated it in 1846 on the territory of the city of Nimrud and to this day it is only one of two completely intact Assyrian obelisks. Its height is 198 cm and it is carved from black limestone.
This obelisk is an extremely interesting subject of study. For example, it is believed to contain the oldest image of a Jew. But we, of course, are interested in anomalous things, namely the strange “hybrids” of people and animals present in the everyday scenes of the obelisk among ordinary people and ordinary animals.
This obelisk was created in honor of the 31st anniversary of the reign of Shalmaneser III and it depicts how the conquered peoples bring various offerings to the Assyrian ruler.
Among the offerings are all kinds of animals – the most common and depicted quite naturalistically – elephants, camels, lions, horses.
And next to them are bizarre creatures with the body of an animal, and the head and hands of a man. Proponents of the paleocontact theory consider them to be hybrids, believing that ancient aliens created such monsters either for some specific work or just for fun.
There are only two scenes on the obelisk with these “hybrids”. On one, two people are holding two very large “hybrids” on a chain, on the second, two “hybrids” are being led behind an elephant on short leashes, and the third “hybrid,” a small one, probably a cub, is simply carried by a person on his shoulders, like a tame monkey.
There is a hypothesis that these creatures are really just monkeys, and not some fantastic hybrids. They say they brought baboons or mandrills caught in Africa as exotic pets to the Assyrian king as a gift.
However, the heads of these creatures are too human; neither baboons nor other large tailed primates have such round heads with a prominent nose. Then maybe it’s a chimpanzee or a gorilla?
But their nose is also designed differently, and they don’t have tails, but in the scenes from the obelisk the tails are clearly visible. It is also striking how much these “hybrids” resemble the ancient Egyptian sphinxes. The same hairstyle, the same body, similar to the body of a lion.
Judging by these scenes, the “hybrids” could walk on their hind legs and were all shorter than humans. No clothing is seen on them, and one has what appears to be fur on its upper torso and legs.
Unusual hybrid creatures are regularly found on ancient bas-reliefs and frescoes, as well as in myths and legends of different civilizations. Scientists believe that these are simply products of human imagination.
And this is partly true, because with a lot of imagination a person can even come up with a tribe of headless people whose mouths are on their stomachs, or people with one large leg with which they shelter from the rain. But some of these images may well be based on what a person saw with his own eyes, that is, these creatures were completely real.