Scientists in Germany are ever 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 (so far). The Shigir Idol, as it was called, 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, during the pré-historic time.
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. The results are likely to be known in late February or early March, 2015.
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. The 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 archaeologists drew images of all the pieces. 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 this Idol. While the messages remain an utter mystery to modern man, the Russian academics have said its creators lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world.
There is a representation of a straight line in this idol, which could denote land, or horizon – possibly 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. 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 according to the researchers. 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.