Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Siberia - What is the world's oldest wooden statue trying to tell us?

What is the world's oldest wooden statue trying to tell us? Etchings on haunting seven-faced Shigir Idol 'could hold a message to modern man'

  • Secret encrypted codes on Shigir Idol written around 9,500 years ago
  • Experts say codes contain information on the 'creation of the world'
  • Shigir Idol was preserved 'as if in a time capsule' in a Siberian peat bog
  • German scientists are now close to a precise dating within five decades
  • They say results are likely to be known in late February or early March
  • Researchers say messages remain 'an utter mystery to modern man'

Scientists in Germany are closer to dating an ancient wooden statue which they say contains secret encrypted codes written around 9,500 years ago - possibly the oldest on the planet.

The haunting Shigir Idol is twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids and was preserved 'as if in a time capsule' in a peat bog on the western fringes of Siberia.

Now Russian experts say the remarkable relic contains encoded information on the 'creation of the world' - a message to modern man from the Mesolithic era of the Stone Age.

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Scientists in Germany are close to dating an ancient wooden statue which they say contains secret encrypted codes written around 9,500 years ago - possibly the oldest on the planet
Scientists in Germany are close to dating an ancient wooden statue which they say contains secret encrypted codes written around 9,500 years ago - possibly the oldest on the planet
Scientists in Germany are close to dating an ancient wooden statue which they say contains secret encrypted codes written around 9,500 years ago - possibly the oldest on the planet

'German scientists are now close to a precise dating - within five decades - of the remarkable artifact, which is a stunning example of ancient man's creativity,' reported The Siberian Times 

'The results are likely to be known in late February or early March.'
The idol, 'scraped' using a 'stone spoon' from larch timber, is around 4,000 to 5,000 years older than Britain's world famous Stonehenge monument.

It stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house.

The haunting Shigir Idol is twice as old as the Egypian pyramids and was preserved 'as if in a time capsule' in a peat bog on the western fringes of Siberia
The haunting Shigir Idol is twice as old as the Egypian pyramids and was preserved 'as if in a time capsule' in a peat bog on the western fringes of Siberia

THE SHIGIR IDOL: KEY FACTS

The Shigir Idol is thought to be the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world.
The haunting idol is twice as old as the Egypian pyramids and was preserved 'as if in a time capsule' in a peat bog

It was made during the Mesolithic period, around 7,500 BCE but was only discovered in 1890 in Kirovgrad, Sverdlovsk region, in the Ural Mountains.
It stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house.

Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian's 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev drew images of all the pieces.

The messages carved into the ornament 'remain 'an utter mystery to modern man', according to experts. 

Some say the straight lines could denote land, or horizon - the boundary between earth and sky, water and sky, or the borderline between the worlds.

A wavy line or zigzag symbolised the watery element, snake, lizard, or determined a certain border.

But the marks could have multiple meanings for the ancient statue-makers who gave the idol seven faces, only one of which is three-dimensional.

The faces may be images of spirits that inhabited the human world in ancient times.
Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian's 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev drew images of all the pieces.

German pre-historian Professor Thomas Terberger said: 'There is no such ancient sculpture in the whole of Europe. 

'Studying this Idol is a dream come true.'

Professor Mikhail Zhilin, leading researcher of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archeology, explained: 'We study the Idol with a feeling of awe.

'This is a masterpiece, carrying gigantic emotional value and force.

'It is a unique sculpture, there is nothing else in the world like this. It is very alive, and very complicated at the same time.

'The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of the Idol.'

While the messages remain 'an utter mystery to modern man', the Russian academic said its creators 'lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world'.

Svetlana Savchenko, chief keeper of Shigir Idol at Yekaterinburg History Museum, concludes that 'a straight line could denote land, or horizon - the boundary between earth and sky, water and sky, or the borderline between the worlds.

'A wavy line or zigzag symbolised the watery element, snake, lizard, or determined a certain border.

'In addition, the zigzag signaled danger, like a pike. Cross, rhombus, square, circle depicted the fire or the sun, and so on.'
The Shigir Idol stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house. Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian's 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev drew images of all the pieces
The Shigir Idol stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house. Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian's 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev drew images of all the pieces
The Shigir Idol stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house. Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian's 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev drew images of all the pieces
The idol, 'scraped' using a 'stone spoon' from larch timber, is around 4,000 to 5,000 years older than Britain's world famous Stonehenge monument. Pictured is an illustration of how it may have been created
The idol, 'scraped' using a 'stone spoon' from larch timber, is around 4,000 to 5,000 years older than Britain's world famous Stonehenge monument. Pictured is an illustration of how it may have been created
While the messages remain 'an utter mystery to modern man', the Russian academic said its creators 'lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world'. Pictured is a building of Urals history museum in 1910 in which the relic is held
While the messages remain 'an utter mystery to modern man', the Russian academic said its creators 'lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world'. Pictured is a building of Urals history museum in 1910 in which the relic is held

But the marks could have multiple meanings for the ancient statue-makers who gave the idol seven faces, only one of which is three-dimensional.

'If these are images of spirits that inhabited the human world in ancient times, the vertical position of figures (one above the other) probably relate to their hierarchy,' said author Petr Zolin.

'Images on the front and back planes of the Idol, possibly indicate that they belong to different worlds.

'If there are depicted myths about the origin of humans and the world, the vertical arrangement of the images may reflect the sequence of events. Ornaments can be special signs which mark something as significant.'

Mr Savchenko argues that the idol tells the story of the 'creation of the world' as understood by Mesolithic man.

Professor Uwe Hoysner, from Berlin Archaeological Institute added: 'The idol is carved from larch, which, as we see by the annual rings, was at least 159 years old.
'The samples we selected contain important information about the isotopes that correspond to the time when the tree grew.'

The peat protected the larch wood. The Idol was found in 1890 in Kirovgrad, Sverdlovsk region, in the Ural Mountains.
The marks could have multiple meanings for the ancient statue-makers who gave the idol seven faces, only one of which is three-dimensional
The marks could have multiple meanings for the ancient statue-makers who gave the idol seven faces, only one of which is three-dimensional
The relic was made during the Mesolithic period, around 7,500 BCE but was only discovered in 1890 in Kirovgrad, Sverdlovsk region, in the Ural Mountains
The relic was made during the Mesolithic period, around 7,500 BCE but was only discovered in 1890 in Kirovgrad, Sverdlovsk region, in the Ural Mountains


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2802962/what-world-s-oldest-wooden-statue-trying-tell-etchings-haunting-seven-faced-shigir-idol-hold-message-modern-man.html#ixzz3GvgC139c

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