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In the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore in Yekaterinburg, Russia, is a 9 feet tall wooden statue enclosed in a glass box. Called the Shigir Idol, it is the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world, made 11,000 ago or about the same time man discovered farming. The original statue was even taller — 17 feet. During Russian's 20th century political turmoil, more than 8 feet of the idol was destroyed.

The incredible discovery was made in 1894 in a peat bog in Shigir, on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals, approximately 100 km from Yekaterinburg. The sculpture was found broken in numerous fragments, but otherwise unharmed, thanks to the excellent preservation properties of peat. When the fragments were pieced together, an immense figure of a man emerged, its surface covered in Mesolithic symbols and geometric designs, whose meaning the archeologists are still puzzling over.


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