A picture of a Unicorn standing between 2-horn bulls on the 9th century-B.C.
"Black Obelisk" in the British Museum
A 7th-century-B.C. sculpture of Ashurbanipal's Assyrian unicorns
casually grazing (on a British Museum artifact)
Another picture of a first-millennium-B.C. Assyrian Unicorn,
being hunted and killed, on a British-Museum artifact
Unicorn accounts of the primitive artistic evidence of the existence of unicorns on the Dark Continent in the eighteenth century have been passed on to us in the 1832 revised edition of Calmet’s Dictionary of the Holy Bible. Its editor, Edward Robinson, also included a quite interesting account of a true African unicorn hunt that resulted in the death of one unicorn, which provided a rare close-up description of the creature, including its horn. In his lengthy treatise on these elusive one-horned animals, he wrote:
"Dr. Sparrmann, the Swedish naturalist, who visited the cape of Good Hope and the adjacent regions, in the years 1772—1776, gives, in his travels, the following account: Jacob Kock, an observing peasant on Hippopotamus river, who had traveled over the greater part of Southern Africa, found on the face of a perpendicular rock a drawing made by the Hottentots, representing a quadruped with one horn. The Hottentots told him, that the animal there represented was very much like the horse on which he rode, but had a straight horn upon the forehead. They added, that these one-horned animals were rare, that they ran with great rapidity, and were also very fierce. They also described the manner of hunting them.
"'It is not probable,' Dr. Sparrmann's remarks, 'that the savages wholly invented this story, and that too so very circumstantially: still less can we suppose, that they should have received and retained, merely from history or tradition, the remembrance of such an animal. These regions are very seldom visited; and the creature might, therefore, long remain unknown. That an animal so rare should not be better known to the modern world proves nothing against its existence. The greater part of Africa is still among the terra incognitae. Even the giraffe has been again discovered only within comparatively a few years. So also the gnu, which, till recently, was held to be a fable of the ancients.'
"A somewhat more definite account of a similar animal is contained in the Transactions of the Zealand Academy of Sciences at Flushing (Pt. xv. Middlelb. 1792. Praef. p. lvi.) The account was transmitted to the society in 1791, from the cape of Good Hope, by Mr. Henry Cloete. It states that a bastard Hottentot, Gerrit Slinger by name, related, that while engaged several years before with a party, in pursuit of the savage Bushmen, they had got sight of nine strange animals, which they followed on horseback, and shot one of them.
"This animal resembled a horse, and was of a light-gray color, with white stripes under the lower jaw. It had a single horn, directly in front, as long as one's arm and at the base about as thick. Towards the middle the horn was somewhat flattened, but had a sharp point; it was not attached to the bone of the forehead, but fixed only in the skin. The head was like that of the horse, and the size also about the same. The hoofs were round, like those of a horse, but divided below, like those of oxen. This remarkable animal was shot between the so-called Table mountain and Hippopotamus river, about sixteen days' journey on horseback from Cambedo, which would be about a month's journey in ox-wagons from Capetown.
"Mr. Cloete mentions, that several different natives and Hottentots testify to the existence of a similar animal with one horn, of which they profess to have seen drawings by hundreds, made by the Bushmen on rocks and stones. He supposes that it would not be difficult to obtain one of these animals, if' desired. His letter is dated at the Cape, April 8, 1791. (See thus far Rosenmueller's Altes u. neues Morgenland, ii. p. 269, seq. Leipz. 1818.)"
The ancient artifacts alone prove the historical existence of unicorns.
This page was last modified on Wednesday, July 15, 2015