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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: Mysterious wooden statue found in peat bog is 'twice as old as Stonehenge'

Monday, 31 August 2015

Mysterious wooden statue found in peat bog is 'twice as old as Stonehenge'

A mysterious wooden statue called 'The Shigir Idol' that was discovered on January 24, 1894 at a depth of 4m in the peat bog of shigir, on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals in Russia is now believed to be twice as old as Stonehenge in England and is the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world.

Depicting a man with mysterious symbols inscribed on him - which scientists believe could be an ancient encrypted code - the statue is 1,500 years older than previously thought.

Scientists in Mannheim, Germany, used the most up-to-date carbon dating technology, called Accelerated Mass Spectrometry, to determine the statue’s age.

Thomas Terberger, a professor at the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lower Saxony, part of the team who dated the Idol, told the Siberian Times: “The results exceeded our expectations.

“This is an extremely important date for the international scientific community. It is important for understanding the development of civilization and the art of Eurasia and humanity as a whole.

“We can say that in those times, 11,000 years ago, the hunters, fishermen and gatherers of the Urals were no less developed than the farmers of the Middle East.”

A source at the Sverdlovsk History Museum in Yekaterinburg, Russia, where the statue is currently on display, told the Siberian Times: “The first attempt to date the idol was made 107 years after its discovery, in 1997.

"The first radiocarbon analyses showed that idol was 9,500 calendar years old, which led to disputes in scientific society.

“To exclude doubts, and to make the results known and accepted, a decision was made to use the most modern technologies to date the Idol again.”

Scientists believe the complex runes cut into the wood are encoded information about the origins of the universe from the ancient sculptor.

The source called the sculpture “a key to understanding Eurasian art.”

The statue was originally 5.3 metres tall but parts of it went missing during the Soviet Era. Now only 2.8 metres remain along with sketches drawn in 1914 by a famous local archaeologist, Vladimir Tolmachev. 

Reference: Independent UK

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