The most ancient in the world of wooden sculpture Ural Shigir idol – turned out to be 1.5 thousand years older than previously thought, according to TASS. The results of the study of sculpture on Thursday, August 27, said the Director of the Sverdlovsk regional Museum Natalia Vetrova.
“The results of joint studies of Russian and German scientists the age of the Shigir idol – 11 thousand years. Thus, its age is approximately two times more than the Egyptian pyramids. Also, scientists were able to confirm that the idol was made of larch,” said she.
The research was conducted by scientists of the German archaeological Institute, Department for the protection of cultural heritage of Lower Saxony and the Moscow Institute of archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences last summer.
The work of scientists questioned by the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation – the Deputy head of the Ministry of culture of Russia Grigory Pirumov wrote a statement about the damage the unique sculptures in October 2014, but then in the criminal case he was refused. However, in July of this year, the Investigative Committee in Sverdlovsk region opened a criminal case under part 1 of article 243 (“Destruction or damage of cultural heritage or cultural property”). Claims officials and prosecutors caused a research method for sampling of material on the sculpture was made Nadel.
Then in the Museum, which houses the idol, admitted that he could be corrupted in the study, but added that the scientists acted in accordance with law.
“Initially Shigir idol has been divided into 10 fragments. In the selection of material for the study it was not sawn, and nadelen. Taken less than two grams of wood. This method of sampling will not cause damage to the relics,” explained Vetrov.
According to a leading scientist of the Institute of archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences Mikhail Zhilin, to take samples close to the surface was not possible. “The surface has the effect of preservatives, therefore, for the study took samples at a depth of two to three centimeters,” he said.
Zhilin added that expertise helped to clarify the method of manufacturing the idol. “It belongs to the monumental art of hunters, fishers and gatherers of the Urals. Made from chopped the trunk of a larch aged at least 157 years. The work was carried out on the freshly cut trunk of stone tools. Also on the idol show traces of ornament”, he said.
Scientist noted that similar sculptures did ancient farmers of the Middle East.
Shigir idol was found by prospectors in the 1880-ies in the peat bog near Shigir lake in the Urals near the current Kirovgrad at a depth of four meters. The artifact was a hewed Board of larch more than five meters long, with the two sides dotted with carved geometric figures and anthropomorphic (resembling a human) personalities. The top was adorned with a voluminous head. Scientists believed that the idol was also hands and feet, but then came to the conclusion that the relic was portable and was attached to dug into the ground post.
In Soviet times, the idol was kept in the storerooms of the Sverdlovsk regional Museum and was publicly presented to the public in 2003, when Russian scientists have produced a unique glass sarcophagus.
In June 2014 idol for the first time extracted from the sarcophagus and sawed off from him seven chips-samples, which scientists from Russia and Germany decided to more accurately determine the age of the sculpture, as well as find out exactly how and with what tools it was made.