Note: This article has been published in the New Dawn Magazine, Issue 172 and the Graham Hancock's website.

Recently, on Oct 1, 2018, the BBC ran a story[1] about the discovery of hundreds of petroglyphs i.e. rock carvings in the Ratnagiri and Rajapur area of the state of Maharashtra in western India. Many of these petroglyphs are very large, which have been etched on the rocky, flat hilltops.

Ratnagiri on the Konkan coastline of Maharashtra
Fig 1: Ratnagiri, Maharashtra on the Konkan coastline. Source: Google Maps
Our first deduction from examining these petroglyphs is that they were created around 10,000BC,” the director of the Maharashtra state archaeology department, Tejas Garge, told the BBC. The dating was done on the basis of Mesolithic tools found at some of the petroglyph sites. This puts the date of creation of these rock carved images at the very beginning of the post-glacial epoch, following the cataclysms of the Younger Dryas period.

While some of the petroglyphs were known to the locals and regarded as holy, most of them were hidden beneath layers of mud and soil deposited during the intervening millenia. They were discovered due to the diligent efforts of a group of explorers led by Sudhir Risbood and Manoj Marathe, who began searching for the images in earnest after observing a few in the area.

When I looked at these pictures, I was astonished to find 3 images which depict sacred symbols of global importance, which have been found in the art and culture of many subsequent civilizations. 

The Winged Scarab

This large petroglyph depicts what appears to be the Winged Scarab, a symbol that was very popular in ancient Egypt and symbolized creation and rebirth. The symbol appears on Egyptian tomb paintings, carvings, and manuscripts. Miniature scarabs carved from stone or moulded from faience were worn as amulets and jewelry, and used as impression seals. 
Petroglyph in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India, depicting the Winged Scarab
Fig 2: Petroglyph in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India, depicting the Winged Scarab. Source:
Winged Scarab on the breastplate of Tutankhamun, Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Fig 3: Winged Scarab on the breastplate of Tutankhamun. Source: Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
The Egyptians called the scarab beetle Khepri (“He who has come into being”) and worshiped it as the “dawn sun”. There is a story of how the goddess Isis tricked the sun-god Ra into revealing his many names: Khepri (dawn sun), Ra (mid-day sun) and Atum (evening sun).

Just as the scarab beetle pushes or rolls a ball of dung across the earth, Khepri pushed the sun across the sky every day.  The ancient Egyptians believed that Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day. This reinforced the scarab’s association with creation and rebirth.

The visual similarity between the petroglyph discovered in India, and the Egyptian symbol of the Winged Scarab or Khepri is quite striking. Although the “sun-disk” being pushed by the scarab is not very clear in this image, it can be made out from the aerial view shown below.
Aerial view of the Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the Winged Scarab
Fig 4: Aerial view of the Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the Winged Scarab. Source:
It boggles the mind to think that the Winged Scarab symbol, which was so popular in ancient Egypt, has been existence since the very beginning of the post-glacial epoch. Did the symbol have its origin in ancient India? Or does it reflect the esoteric knowledge of an erstwhile “Golden Age” civilization that perished during the cataclysms of the Younger Dryas epoch (10,900 BCE – 9700 BCE) when our planet was struck by multiple fragments of a giant comet?

It is now well known that Younger Dryas comet impact initiated a vicious cold snap, accompanied by fires, floods, and black rain, which brought about the extinction of a large number of North American megafauna and a prehistoric culture. In 9703 BCE, the cold snap ended as abruptly as it had started, for reasons not clearly understood. The sudden transition out of the Ice Age to a warm interglacial climate may have precipitated a global flood of mythic proportions, which is recounted in the flood legends of many ancient cultures.
12,000-year-old petroglyph at Ratnagiri, India, depicting the Egyptian Winged Scarab
Fig 5: 12,000-year-old petroglyph at Ratnagiri, India, depicting the Egyptian Winged Scarab
The Master of Animals

Another exquisite petroglyph discovered at Ratnagiri depicts a man who appears to be holding two animals by their hind legs. This is a symbolic motif in ancient art that is referred to by scholars as the “Master of Animals”. 
The Master of Animals is a heroic figure who holds a pair of animals by their tail or hind legs. The figure can be a female as well, in which case she is called "Mistress of Animals". This icon was widespread in the ancient world, and can be seen in the ancient art of Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, Egypt, Greece, Italy etc. The “Mistress of Animals” motif was popular in archaic Greek and Etruscan artworks in metal, ivory, pottery and jewelry from the 8th century BCE onwards.
Petroglyph in Ratanagiri, Maharashtra, depicting the Master of Animals.
Fig 6: Petroglyph in Ratanagiri, Maharashtra, depicting the Master of Animals. Source:
Fig 7: Horus standing on crocodiles and holding a lion and a jackal by their tail, along with scorpions and serpents, An Egyptian Faience Cippus, 304-30 BCE. Source:
A relief of the Master of Animals from Mesopotamia. 9th - 8th century BCE. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Fig 8: A relief of the Master of Animals from Mesopotamia. 9th - 8th century BCE. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Source:
Mistress of Animals holding in each hand a lion by its tail. Gold plaque pendant. Kamiros, Rhodes, 720-650 BCE
Fig 9: Mistress of Animals holding in each hand a lion by its tail. Gold plaque pendant. Kamiros, Rhodes, 720-650 BCE. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Source:
Another Ratnagiri petroglyph shows a variation of the "Master of Animals" icon, in which a heroic figure is grappling with two large animals, possibly tigers. This is reminiscent of an imagery depicted on a number of Indus Valley seals from c.2600 BCE. One of the earliest representations of this form can be seen on the Gebel el-Arak Knife dating from the Naqada II period of Egyptian prehistory, which began c.3450 BCE. Mesopotamian seals also display this icon in large numbers.
Ratnagiri Petroglyph showing a figure lifting up a pair of tigers.
Fig 10: Ratnagiri Petroglyph showing a figure lifting up a pair of tigers. Source:
Mohenjo-Daro seal depicting a man grappling with two tigers
Fig 11: Mohenjo-Daro seal depicting a man grappling with two tigers. Source:
Fig 12: Master of Animals depicted on the Gebel el-Arak knife, c.3300-3200 BC, Abydos, Egypt. Source: Wikimedia Commons / ALFGRN CC BY-SA 2.0
Fig 13: Chalcedony cylinder seal showing a divine hero wrestling two bulls from the Neo-Babylonian period, late 8th-7th century BCE. Source: Yale Babylonian Collection
The different depictions of the Master of Animals symbol exude a sense of enormous physical strength and courage. Perhaps, this was an ancient icon of superhuman strength, used in the context of gods, heroes, or kings? Surely, this could not have been the work of primitive hunter-gatherers, as the researchers in the study have speculated.  

The depiction of this motif on 12,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs indicates that the symbol had its origin in remote antiquity, and was used by an Ice Age civilization to represent its heroes. Did the people of this time really have such immense physical strength, so as to subdue two large wild animals with their bare hands? If so, it would lend credence to the assertions of our ancestors that human beings have reduced in stature and strength , as we "devolved" from the Golden Age to our current age of discord and strife known as the Kali Yuga (or Iron Age) in the ancient Hindu texts.

12,000-year-old petroglyphs of Ratanagiri, India, depict the Master of Animals.
Fig 14: 12,000-year-old petroglyphs of Ratanagiri, India, depict the Master of Animals
 Pisces and Aquarius

Another intriguing petroglyph discovered at Ratnagiri depicts a pair of fish facing opposite directions, connected by some kind of a strap. This symbol has been used for thousands of years to depict the Pisces constellation. The Pisces astrological symbol consists of a pair of fish swimming in opposite directions, with a chord connecting the two fishes so that they remain together.
Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the Pisces constellation
Fig 15: Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the Pisces constellation. Source:
Roman era relief carving of Pisces symbol
Fig 16: Roman era relief carving of Pisces symbol. Credit: Kleon3 CC BY-SA 4.0
As per current wisdom, the earliest representation of the zodiac sign of Pisces appears on an Egyptian coffin lid from c. 2300 BCE. It is also believed that knowledge of the zodiac signs and astrological predictions began sometime during the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia.

However, the discovery of this petroglyph changes all of that. It pushes back the date for the origin of astrological symbols to the period around 10,000 BCE or earlier, and raises the very real possibility that our astrological knowledge is a legacy of a lost civilization that flourished during the Ice Age.
12000-year-old Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the astrological symbol of Pisces.
Fig 17: 12000-year-old Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the astrological symbol of Pisces.
The discovery of the Pisces symbol made me wonder if any of the other petroglyphs of the Ratnagiri area depict other signs of the zodiac. And, quite fortuitously, I noticed another petroglyph that resembles the astrological symbol for the Aquarius constellation.

This petroglyph shows a man holding an object above his head with both hands, looking similar to Aquarius, the Water Bearer, who pours out a stream of water from a Water Jar held above the head (or on the shoulder). 
Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the Aquarius constellation
Fig 18: Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting the Aquarius constellation. Source:
Aquarius is located in a region of the sky called the Sea, and early stargazers associated the star patterns here with fishes swimming in the celestial Sea. To the right of the person (i.e. on the left side of the image) we see a pair of fish, which have been depicted at the exact position occupied by the zodiac sign of Pisces the Fish. Another pair of fish has been depicted near the left leg of the person, corresponding to the position of the constellation Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish.
12000-year-old petroglyph of Ratnagiri, India, depicting the astrological symbol of Aquarius
Fig 19: 12000-year-old petroglyph of Ratnagiri, India, depicting the astrological symbol of Aquarius.
Hence, what we seem to have here is possibly an astonishing sky chart etched on the ground, depicting the constellations of Aquarius the Water Bearer, bounded by Pisces the Fish and Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish. 

While there may be additional petroglyphs in the Ratnagiri area that depict the other signs of the zodiac, it is a curious coincidence that the first two constellations that caught my eyes were those of Pisces the Fish and Aquarius the Water Bearer. As per the doctrine of the Astrological Ages, we are currently in the Age of Pisces, and about to transition into the Age of Aquarius, sometime in the near future. Perhaps, these 12,000-year-old petroglyphs are giving us a timely reminder of this very important upcoming transition into an Age where wisdom and intuitive understanding will blossom once again in the minds of men.

A Lost Civilization

The very fact that the petroglyphs of Ratnagiri have been dated to c.10,000 BCE, when humanity had just emerged from the terrible devastation of the Younger Dryas epoch, suggests that these symbols might encapsulate the esoteric wisdom of a civilization that flourished during the Ice Age, and which perished during the Younger Dryas cataclysms.

The survivors of this “lost civilization” would have settled at many places around the globe, and one of the settlement zones was the Konkan coast of India. Having witnessed their erstwhile civilization being reduced to rubble, the survivors may have refrained from building large monuments. Instead, they etched their sacred symbols on the hard, rocky landscape, which could have transformed into open-air altars.

One of the mysteries of the Ratnagiri petroglyphs, which the BBC report has pointed out, is that they show animals such as the rhinoceros and hippopotamus which are not found in the region. The report states, 
“But this begs the question of why some of the petroglyphs depict animals like hippos and rhinoceroses which aren't found in this part of India. Did the people who created them migrate to India from Africa? Or were these animals once found in India?”
The one-horned rhinoceros is, of course, indigenous to India and it flourished in the Indus Valley during the Bronze Age, although today it is restricted to the Himalayan foothills. A number of Indus seals and terracotta figurines depict the rhino. However, the animal probably became extinct in the region when the IVC collapsed due to a series of environmental catastrophes – earthquakes, floods, droughts, changes in the monsoon patterns and the courses of rivers etc. - that struck the region sometime around 2000 BCE. The effects of these environmental changes may have been felt in the Konkan region as well, which made the rhino go extinct here.

The depiction of the hippopotamus is more curious. The Hexaprotodon – a family of hippopotamus relatives – flourished in India from around 5.9 million to 9000 years ago. The last known specimen of the Hexaprotodon lived in the Narmada Basin in Madhya Pradesh, around 16,467–15,660 years ago.  This was determined on the basis AMS dating of a fragmented tooth unearthed in 2003. What this implies is that, the people who carved the hippopotamus petroglyphs on the Konkan coast must have done so at least 9000 years ago!

I noticed that there is at least one petroglyph that looks like a kangaroo! The kangaroo is believed to be indigenous to Australia, and are not found anywhere else. Does this mean that the people who made these petroglyphs had oceanic contacts with Australia? Or perhaps, just like the hippo, the kangaroo was also found in India in the past, and it became extinct sometime around the beginning of the Holocene epoch?

Ratnagiri petroglyph depicting a kangaroo
Fig 20: Ratnagiri Petroglyph depicting a kangaroo.
Other explanations are also possible. As some legends state, there could have been an antediluvian kingdom in the Indian Ocean that supported animals such as hippos and kangaroos, and when the island-continent sank under the ocean, some of its inhabitants settled on the western coast of India and etched their memories of their erstwhile homeland on these flat, rocky hill tops.

Overall, these ancient petroglyphs have the potential of completely overturning the current beliefs regarding the origins of civilization. There are hundreds of petroglyphs in the Ratnagiri area which depict animal and human figures, as well as complex geometric forms, which could help us unlock the mysteries of humanity's past.

Earlier in 2002, nearly 60 petroglyphs were discovered in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra in the Konkan (coastal) region, which were tentatively dated to between 7000 BCE – 4000 BCE.[3] One of the images found here resembles the “Imperial Eagle” symbol which has served as an insignia of royalty and has been displayed on the Coat of Arms of many nations throughout history.
9000-year-old Sindhudurg petroglyph depicting the Imperial Eagle symbol
Fig 21: 9000-year-old Sindhudurg petroglyph depicting the Imperial Eagle symbol.
Another petroglyph in Sindhudurg depicts a man standing with a staff in either hand, resembling the Staff God of the Andean cultures. The Andean Staff God is generally pictured holding a staff in each hand, with fanged teeth, having snakes in his headdress or integrated into his garments.
9000-year-old Sindhudurg petroglyph depicting the Staff God of the Andes
Fig 22: 9000-year-old Sindhudurg petroglyph depicting the Staff God of the Andes
The Incans identified the Staff God with Viracocha, their supreme god. He was the father of all other Inca gods and it was he who formed the earth, heavens, sun, moon, and all living beings. According to legends, Viracocha travelled far and wide, bringing the arts of civilization to humanity. After his work was done, he headed west across the Pacific on a raft, promising to return one day to the Inca. 

The oldest known depiction of the Andean Staff God was found in 2003 on some broken gourd fragments dated to c.2250 BCE, which means that this Sindhudurg petroglyph predates the earliest known depiction of the Staff God by thousands of years. 


Evidently, the petroglyphs of the Konkan region of Maharashtra, stretching from Ratnagiri in the north to Sindhudurg in the south, contain some of the earliest depictions of the sacred symbols used by ancient cultures around the world. The dating of these petroglyphs to around 10,000 BCE, on the basis of some Mesolithic tools found at the site, pushes back the date for the beginnings of astrological lore and sacred symbolisms to the beginning of the Holocene epoch, when humanity had just emerged from the cataclysms of the Younger Dryas period. 

The depiction of animals such as the rhinoceros and hippopotamus gives us some idea of the antiquity of these petroglyphs. The rhino became extinct in the Indus Valley at around c.2000 BCE, and may have become extinct in the Konkan at that time. The hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon), on the other hand, became extinct in India more than 9000 years ago, which means that these petroglyphs must have been carved prior to that date. The depictions of an animal resembling the kangaroo raises questions about the existence of this animal in India in the remote past.

Due to the far-reaching implications of these symbols, the dating of the petroglyphs to around 10,000 BCE is bound to come under scrutiny. More evidence needs to be collected using different techniques such as radiocarbon dating, thermoluminescence etc. to ascertain the period of carving more precisely. The petroglyphs of the Konkan coast have been discovered over the past couple of decades, and they have always been recognized as being extremely old, predating most of the known ancient civilizations of antiquity.

This analysis is based on a small sample of petroglyph images contained in the BBC report and a video on the BBC News Marathi TV Channel. Hundreds of petroglyphs have been found till now in the Ratnagiri and Rajapur area, which need to be studied in detail, in order to better understand this ancient Konkan culture, and to identify symbolic and cultural connections with other cultures. There is no doubt that this is an extremely significant discovery which can fundamentally alter our current perceptions about the origins of sacred symbols and astrological lore.

[1] Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilization, Oct 1 2018, 
[2] Graham Hancock, “Underworld – the Mysterious Origins of Civilization”, Three Rivers Press, 2002. 
[3] "Neolithic rock art sites found in Maharashtra", Vrushali Lad, 2012,
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Bibhu Dev Misra

Independent researcher and writer on ancient mysteries, cultural connections, cosmic wisdom, religion and science. Graduate of IIT and IIM with two decades of work experience in different fields

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37 comments so far,Add yours

  1. Thank u you for sharing, Sir ����

  2. Dear Bibhu,
    Wonderful article, as always. But a clarification on the Kangaroo petroglyph. Are not Kangaroos in Australia standing upright in current stage of their evolution, while the petroglyph the animal appears running on four legs. Perhaps these are deers, or an earlier stage of Kangaroo? Thank you.

    1. Thankyou.This is from Bharath. K. Bharath Kumar

    2. Hello Bharath,
      The petroglyph animal seems to have forelegs that are a fair bit shorter than its hind legs, and looks quite similar to a kangaroo in a running posture. I think it could just be a kangaroo in its present state of evolution.

  3. Hi, I am planning to visit ratnRatna and Rajapur region in January. Can you get the names of the places where I can get to see these petroglyphs.

    1. The petroglyphs are scattered over a number of very remote villages. The best bet might be to go to the Ratnagiri Tourism office (government) and ask them for directions and /or guides.

  4. Dear Bibhu, Thanks for clarifying my doubt on kangaroo or deer in petroglyph. Best wishes. Bharath

    1. Hi Bibhu, I came across this list of noteable Mysteries. Thought I could share this with yourself and website audience. Thank you.

    2. This was from Bharath again. Thanks.

    3. Dear Bibhu,
      Can you please share your view on how the dating of 10,000 BCE ties in with our Indian history vis-a-vis time periods of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. It appears from relevant articles (including those from you as well) that Lord Krishna lived around 3200 BCE - 3100 BCE timeframe approx. Will the petroglyph findings negate or add credibility to our legends and conception of how civilization began? Thank you.

    4. Hi Bharath,
      As per the Yuga Cycle timeline I had proposed in an earlier article, Lord Krishna lived around 3900 - 3700 BCE, while Lord Rama's rule was from 7000 - 6800 BCE approx. Both of them lived during the periods of transition between the yugas.
      The discovery of these petroglyphs predates both of them, and points us to a time period when the Satya Yuga had just ended due to a global deluge, and the Treta yuga had begun. It shows the many of the sacred symbols used by our ancestors had their beginnings in a remote period during the Ice Age, when an advanced civilization had flourished. This definitely adds a lot more credibility to the ancient legends, not only those of India, but of many other civilizations, who have always stressed that their knowledge and wisdom was handed down by the survivors of an erstwhile Golden age. For the past 12000 years our civilization has been devolving and we are now reaching the nadir.

  5. Dear Bibhu, Thanks for your thoughts. A legend in Tamil Nadu claims all creation started in temple town of Kumbakonam. Lord Shiva in His 'Kiraata' Hunter form initiated creation by firing an arrow at a Kumbaa (Pot) containing needed 'shrishtibeej' i.e. seeds, DNA materials presumably. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for sharing that story. The beginning of creation, however, is different from the periodic civilizational resets during the Yuga transitions. I think the creation stories have great cosmic truths hidden within them that need to be unearthed.

  7. Incredible ! To find that these symbols are so old ! Timeless and bound to our unconscious .. The fact that we can decode their meaning at a single glance is huge! It hints that perhaps true knowledge was never lost, only hidden from view. "Amen"

    1. Yes, its fascinating to realize that the origins of our ancient symbols and wisdom extends back to the Ice Age and beyond. According to the ancients, humanity has passed through many cycles of yugas or world ages. This suggests that current thinking about evolution and the origins of civilization may be in for a serious overhaul in future. I do not think, however, that we have been able to successfully decode the meanings that the ancients had encoded into these symbols...there could be layers of meanings and much more thought needs to go into it.

  8. Incredible, giving wonderful information , Thankq for the efforts of bringing in new knowkedge.

  9. definitely a marsupial,but they vanished from northern hemisphere well before the advent of last ice age

    1. Thanks for leaving your comment. Why do you think this has been etched on the Konkan coast?

  10. Kangaroos are often depicted in the prone position in rock paintings in Australia.
    It is my theory that the inhabitants of The Kimberley migrated to Southern India at the height of the Younger Dryas as the monsoons stopped and the area was not habitable.
    Later as the conditions improved and the monsoons returned they voyaged back to The Kimberley.

    1. That is a possibility...ancient people got around a lot more than we have been told, and migrations and cross-cultural interactions happened quite regularly. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. A calendar that maps both ancient events per religions along with scientific events will help gain clarity and integrate or debunk these two seemingly-separate parallel evolutionary railway tracks - one from puraanas mythology and other from scientific discoveries.

    1. I agree, and the Yuga Cycle timeline that I had proposed in my article on the Kali Yuga attempted to do the very same thing - to align scientific and archeological discoveries with the Cycle of the Ages as described in the ancient doctrines.

  12. This is amazing! I hope more is found and we get a better understanding of the ancient golden age, I just love this type of stuff.

    1. Thanks for leaving your feedback. Great to know you found it interesting.

  13. How fascinating! The 'Master of Hunters' petroglyph is especially interesting-- My very first thought was the animals depicted were stylized kangaroos! The nose and ears were especially telling. Also, from a quick check, there seems to be some similarity between the styles of this petroglyph and some examples of Australian aboriginal art (petroglyphs). Perhaps a migrating coastal community?
    And from a pure art standpoint I think the negative reverse used on some pieces in outstanding.

    1. Thanks for leaving your comment. Its interesting to know that there are similarities with Aboriginal art...that, along with the possible kangaroo connections, suggests an oceanic contact at around 10,000 BCE! Ancient man seemed to have used the oceans as a superhighway for cultural communication far longer than has been supposed till now.

  14. More and more proof that the information apocalypse IS here!!!

    1. Yes it is already here, and gain much more strength over the next few years.

  15. Dear Bibhu Dev Misra ji All articles you have posted are unique and fascinating. Thanks.

  16. You probably already know this, but the ancient civilization at Mohenjo-Daro shared a nearly identical set of hieroglyphs with the later culture that emerged on Easter Island, despite the two cultures being separated by millennia and "coincidentally" (?) on the exact polar opposite sides of the Earth from one another.

    1. Yes, the Easter Island script and the Indus script shares a number of identical symbols which cannot be a coincidence. Unfortunately, mainstream historians steer miles away from such vexing issues which challenge their oft-repeated lie that there was no transpacific contact before Columbus.
      Its a real mystery though how the Indus script ended up in Easter Island. The Indus script was not in use after c.2000 BCE. It was around this time that the civilization started collapsing due to major climatic aberrations. Its possible that a bunch of people migrated away from the Indus Valley at this time and ended up in Easter Island. But how did they get so far? Well, some of them ended up in Australia around this time (and became mixed with the Aborigines), as the genetic evidence now shows. Perhaps, some folks kept sailing further...Of course, there could be some other explanation to it as well.

  17. Real good discovery sir. congrats. I wonder how these finding can be institutionalised into our history. Do we still need western scholar approval for these?

    1. I am not really sure of the process by which new information gets incorporated into our textbooks. Perhaps, it is necessary to write peer-reviewed papers for Indian or International journals. I suppose we have gone past the phase when we needed western validation for new ideas, but I cant be sure.