Originally Posted By: of troy
well totally non architypal, i read, that the early greek had seen skeletons of elephants (before they ever saw an elephant alive) and mistook the large front nasal cavity for an eye socket and 'constructed' the cyclops myth from that. (they had evidence of some large animal, that had mythical powers, never have seen one, and with only the skull to judge.. came up with cyclops..

I suppose that's possible of the really early Greeks, however, elephants (of both varieties) were well known to the Greeks, Persians, Carthaginians, Romans and others at least several centuries BC. It seems to me more likely the Cyclops was a literary creation, a fictional monster, rather than a legend pertaining to some real animal.