Bull Geoglyph Twice As Old As Nazca Lines Discovered In Siberia

The Bull Geoglyph (silhouette of a bull drawn with sandstone rocks) is the first animal geoglyph discovered in this part of the world.

The discovery was made near the town of Khondergey in the southwestern republic of Tuva, near Russia’s border with Mongolia.

The stone bull was part of an early Bronze Age burial, more than 4,000 years ago, making the geoglyph a thousand years older than the  White Horse of Uffington in England, and twice as old as the famous ones. Nazca lines in Peru.

Left: Colibrí, one of the best known Nazca lines, in the Jumana pampas. 
Right: The White Horse of Uffington, a hill figure cut out of the grass on a hillside near the town of Uffington, in the County of Oxfordshire, England, UK.

Unfortunately, in this Siberian case, only the back of the animal with the legs and a tail was preserved, the front part was accidentally destroyed in the 1940s by the construction of a road.

This is the first such discovery not only in the Republic of Tuva but in Central Asia.

Aerial view of the find. 
Credit: Institute of the History of Material Culture.

Detail of the back of the bull. 
Credit: Institute of the History of Material Culture.

“The bull motif is very typical of the Central Asian cultures of the early Bronze Age. Later, in Scythian times, bulls were replaced by deer, ”said Marina Kilunovskaya, head of the archaeological expedition. “We see bulls as petroglyphs around Tuva and neighboring territories, but finding the animal geoglyph is a unique find for the entire region. Previously we did not find such stone compositions.

The expedition brought together archaeologists from the St. Petersburg-based Institute for the History of Material Culture, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Krasnoyarsk, and the Republic of Tuva, who now hope that the bullfighting geoglyph will be preserved as part of a protected site.

Credit: Institute of the History of Material Culture.  

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