The Mystery of the 11,500-Year-Old Shigir Idol
Known as the world’s oldest wooden statue, the Shigar Idol is thought to be 11,500 years old, meaning it was made during the Mesolithic period, shortly after the end of the last Ice Age. It was discovered by gold miners back in 1890 inside the peat bog of Shigir, on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals, approximately 62 miles away from Yekaterinburg in Russia.
When it was first radiocarbon dated in the 1990s, its age was 9,500 years but later German analysis pushed back this date by a further 2,000 years.
The artefact is clearly very ancient and although we can analyse and describe it, nobody knows with any certainly what it meant to the ancient people and what it symbolises. It stood either on or next to an ancient lake. It was clearly an item of importance due to the amount of work and craftsmanship that went into it and it clearly meant something to a local population. Watch the video to learn more.
All images are taken from Google Images for educational purposes only. Artists impressions via Olga Gertcyk of The Siberian Times and Sasha Skullova.