A Russian “fishes” a Bronze Age statuette

A Russian “fishes” a Bronze Age statuette


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Siberian Nikolay Tarasov was fishing when his net caught a pagan statue from 4,000 years ago. The man said that he used a net instead of a line and it felt heavy, so he thought it had caught on a rock. He and a friend threw it away, assuming the content was going to be garbage. But they stopped when they discovered a stone with a face. Tarasov washed it and realized it was a statuette, which he took to the local museum, where experts told him it was a Early Bronze Age carving.

Before Christianity came to Russia in the 10th century, Slavic peoples practiced various forms of paganism. Scientists believe the statue belonged to either the Okunev culture or the Samus culture, neighboring Bronze Age societies of southern Siberia.

The statuette, which measures 30 cm, was carved from horn that was later fossilized. It shows a figure with almond-shaped eyes and a large mouth, with an apparent angry expression.

It is very likely that it shows a pagan god. Items from this period are very rare, the only things we have dated to roughly the same age are a stone necklace and two charms in the shape of a bear and a bird”Said Marina Banschikova, director of the Tisul Museum of History, where Tarasov brought the statue.

Nikolay Tarasov did not ask for anything in exchange for the delivery of the statuette and said: “People should see and know the history of their region. It is quite precious for museums in any country”.

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