Mysterious Elk-Shaped Structure Discovered in Russia

A huge geoglyph in the shape of an elk or deer discovered in Russia may predate Peru's famous Nazca Lines by thousands of years.

The animal-shaped stone structure, located near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan, has an elongated muzzle, four legs and two antlers. A historical Google Earth satellite image from 2007 shows what may be a tail, but this is less clear in more recent imagery.

Excluding the possible tail, the animal stretches for about 900 feet (275 meters) at its farthest points (northwest to southeast), the researchers estimate, equivalent to two American football fields. The figure faces north and would have been visible from a nearby ridge.

Among the finds from the excavations are about 40 stone tools, made of quartzite, found on the structure's surface. Most of them are pickaxe-like tools called mattocks, useful for digging and chopping.

The style of stone-working called lithic chipping used on one artifact dates it to the Neolithic and Eneolithic (sixth to third millennia B.C.) If that date is correct, it would make the geoglyph far older than Peru's Nazca Lines.

The geoglyph is located on the slope of Zjuratkul Ridge, near the lake of the same name in the Zjuratkul National Park (coordinates: 54°56'33"N, 59°11'32"E ). The area of the geoglyph is crossed by an excursion track leading to the top of the ridge which dominates the surroundings.

Researchers emphasize more dating work needs to be done to verify; however, if the evidence holds, the giant geoglyph, along with the megaliths, were constructed millennia before Peru's Nazca Lines, a testament to the building prowess of an ancient prehistoric culture in the Ural Mountains. read full article here

An in depth report can be read here

Source: livescience antiquity.ac.uk

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