London: Ever heard of anything almost twice as old as the great Egyptian pyramid? Well, a wooden statue is, according to a new analysis of the ancient artefact first found over a century ago, a media report said.
“We can say the results are sensational,” a source at Sverdlovsk Regional History Museum was quoted as saying in a Daily Mail report.
An analysis by German scientists of the statue – called Shigir Idol and originally dug out of a peat bog in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1890 – dates it to be 11,000 years old.
It means that the Idol is twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids. By comparison, Stonehenge dates back 4,614 years.
The research was conducted using Accelerated Mass Spectrometry.
The artefact, covered in ‘encrypted code’, which may be a message from some ancient people, is by far the oldest wooden sculpture in the world, according to experts.
Previous dating attempts claimed that it was made 9,500 years ago.
The museum said the dating used the world’s most sophisticated technology and was undertaken to remove doubts about the age of the idol.
Samples from inside parts of the idol showed its age as 11,000 calendar years, to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch.
“Clear cuts on the tree trunk leave no doubts that the idol was made from a freshly cut tree, by stone tools,” the source said.
“The research proves that the Big Shigir Idol is the world’s oldest wooden sculpture, and an outstanding discovery,” they said.
Mikhail Zhilin, a professor from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Archaeology, has spoken previously of his “feeling of awe” when studying the idol.
“This is a master piece… a unique sculpture. There is nothing else in the world like this,” Zhilin has been reported as saying.