Jason Colavito has written some recent pieces on presumed discoveries of giant human specimens. Often such reports are simply not what they claim to be – evidence is misunderstood or even fabricated, or reports get garbled and transformed in transmission. Here are two illustrations courtesy of Jason’s work:
Did Diego de Ordaz Find the Body of a Giant in Mexico?
Great article. I have the first of Adrienne Mayor’s excellent book which talks about these same types of bone discoveries in ancient Greece and Asia. Sloth bones, or partial skeletons would look a GREAT deal like a human giant to an untrained eye. This probably does explain most of the super giant reports from early historians, and some of the more extreme news paper clippings in the 19th century. The giants of the Steve Quayle variety, 15 to 40 feet tall could probably be explained by these discoveries. But the book of Enoch sized giants which some Bible scholars are talking about, 450 feet tall… that even seems too fantastic even for the early fossil hunters. All the verses of the Bible refer to the Giants as powerful men, not as superhuman animals or Groundsloth sized monsters. IF Goliath actually existed, and he was shoulders taller than everyone else, which the size of his weapons, seem to indicate then I doubt he was much bigger than The Egyptian scribes half jokingly talked about in their papyrus Anastasi I, from 1200 BC which mentions Shosu Canaanites up to 5 cubits tall from nose to foot. So if we take the story from the Egyptians as having a grain of truth to them, maybe there were some seven to eight feet tall giants among the fighters in Canaan. The poet Alcaeus of Lesbos in 600 BC writes that his brother slew a man almost 5 Royal cubits tall, (7 ft 6 to 8 feet 3 inches tall). These sorts of mighty man versis shepherd tales seem to be very ancient. I am sure the giants, long deceased would be swelling with pride today if they knew how much interest they have garnished with this new 21st century Nephilim fad. I think some strong textual evidence links the Ugaritic Rapiumu, or dead kings, with the same Rephaim kings of Bashan mentioned in the Bible. Also possible, though a tentative link at best, is the people of “Ly Anaq” recorded in the Middle Kingdom Egyptian execration texts who resided in Canaan, and who I feel might be related to the people of Anak. Some have tried to link the Shasu, or S.sw with the Zuzim of the Bible, but that is even a weaker grasp.
Thanks. I see no reason to think the Enoch material is factual with respect to the numbers. Given Enoch’s content overlaps with other classical material, I’m thinking dinosaur / prehistoric mammals that were mistaken in the ways Mayor describes were picked up by Enochian material and embellished. The 7-8 foot range of which you speak is what I’ve advocated elsewhere on the blog – that is, giants in antiquity were like giants of today. When the average height of a male in antiquity was less than today, the unusual height would be even more dramatic.
I agree in general with respect to the Ugaritic and biblical material. There is one significant disconnect between the two, though – the rephaim being in Sheol idea is not equally articulated.
Agreed on the weakness of the Shasu-Zuzim idea.
So, LoL. I guess what I am getting at, is that for a race of human giants over, say 12 or 15 , or twenty feet tall — or even 450 feet tall to exist, I think they would pretty much have to be on par with whatever phenomenon, or intelligence is behind Ghosts, Sasquatch and Flying Saucers, ESP, and angel sightings — assuming for argument’s sake these apparitions are not all 100% completely bogus. 7 to 9, (with some wiggle room for 10 to 12 feet) humans, and Apes/ hominines can arguably be supported by scant fossil evidence, via Gigantopiothecus, Heidelbergensis, and medical records of severely diseased or genetically very tall humans. I Think Ms. Mayor has an excellent write up on real human giants of this variety, Giants in Ancient Warfare. It fits the Biblical, historic, and fossil record perfectly.
I wouldn’t put these things in the same box, though there are some overlaps. Some of these depends on the coherence (or otherwise) of philosophical materialism as an explanation for consciousness. I’ve read enough books on consciousness by people in neuroscience and clinicians (not referring to Even Alexander here) who research NDEs to think that materialism has holes (not to mention its philosophical weaknesses). Other items (like the UFO issue) are far more complex (requires at least a half dozen boxes). I think Mayor and others have done a good job linking the more outlandish giant tales to skeletal remains for dinosaurs and large prehistoric mammals. But in these cases, she has physical remains to work with. I’m not really into Bigfoot stuff, though I’ve read enough to know that serious bigfoot researchers would fall on both sides of the Gigantipithecus option.
Giant Thumb Bone
Near this site, Ron Wyatt discovered this thumb bone, which is compared with a normal human thumb bone. It is approximately twice the normal length, and therefore probably came from a 12 foot man who formerly lived in Eastern Turkey near Noah’s Ark
above is normal,down giant thumb bone
None of these “discoveries” Ron Wyatt claimed was genuine. It’s a shame, but it’s true. If it was, there would be no reason to prevent the material from being lab tested the items under peer review. Christians should not be less interested in verification (validity) than everyone else.
In other words, where is the proof it’s a thumb (and human)? It would be easy to get a lab to verify it or not. So why are there no test papers?
I understand you are a good linguist, but not as good as an archaeologist or theologian.
It doesn’t take a PhD in archaeology to ask for real evidence – as opposed to fabricated material. It just takes honesty and clear thinking.