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“Masked” Statue Discovered in 5,000-Year-Old Grave in Siberia

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Siberia Odinov SculptureNOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA—According to a Siberian Times report, a small statue depicting a person wearing a mask has been recovered from a grave in western Siberia by a team of researchers led by Vyacheslav Molodin of the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography. The 5,000-year-old grave has been attributed to the people of the Odinov culture, who raised cattle, sheep, and horses, in addition to hunting and fishing. The figure’s mask, Molodin said, is made of a horse vertebra and may represent a bear’s muzzle. “We’ve never come across anything like this, despite our extensive knowledge of the Odinov culture’s burial rights,” he explained. The statue was placed near the remains of a woman whose body had been placed face-down on a man’s remains. The two were then wrapped in birch bark that had been set on fire. The statue was placed on its front, but with its head broken off and turned face up. A stripe is painted on its face, perhaps to represent a tattoo, while its body features a groove down its middle. Molodin and his team will analyze residues on the statue to try to determine if anything had been placed in the groove. Another two people were buried beneath the pair in the tiered grave, he added. To read about evidence found in northwest Siberia for reindeer domestication some 2,000 years ago, go to "Reindeer Training."

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