Mysterious Wooden Shigir Idol With ‘Encrypted Message’ Is 11,000 Years Old, New Tests Reveal

A mysterious wooden statue covered in undeciphered markings is 11,000 years old, according to new tests — or 1,500 years older than previously believed.

That makes the Shigir Idol the oldest known wooden sculpture in the world, the Siberian Times reported.

The idol is more than twice as old as the Great Pyramid of Giza, three times older than the ancient city of Babylon, and five times as old as Al Khazneh, the most famous of the ruins in the ancient city of Petra.

Revelations on Shigir Idol ‘change our understanding of ancient civilizations’

— Siberian Times (@siberian_times) August 27, 2015

Radiocarbon dating conducted in 1997 gave the statue an age of 9,500 years old, but the results were controversial. To confirm the statue’s age, seven “minuscule” samples of wood were sent to Germany for analysis by accelerated mass spectrometry, the Siberian Times reported.

The new analysis found the sculpture to be 11,000 years old, and made from a larch that was 157 years old when it was felled by stone tools.

“This confirms that hunters and fishermen from Urals created works of art as developed and as monumental as ancient farmers of the Middle East,” the website quoted the museum as saying.

The idol was found in the late 19th century in a bog in the Urals in western Siberia. Conditions in the bog preserved the wood so well that not only is the idol’s carved face still very much visible, but a series of lines, squiggles and other marks that run along its nine-foot length can also be seen.

Originally, the idol was even taller — perhaps more than 17 feet high — but —> Read More