Nov 05, 2014 I Paul Seaburn

Children May Have Helped Build World’s Oldest Geoglyph

Revealed by satellite in 2011, the enormous geoglyph of a moose in the Ural Mountains of Russia is believed to be 6,000 years old, making it the world’s oldest example of this massive art form. New analysis of the small tools found around the site suggests that the moose was built with the help of children.

The mysterious moose is yet another geoglyph discovered with the aid of Google Earth. Located near Lake Zyuratkul in the Ural Mountains, it was found by Alexander Shestakov while looking at satellite images. The moose is 900 feet long and the outline was made from ditches dug 12 inches deep and ranging from 15 to 32 feet wide. Large stones were then placed along the outer edges and the rest of the ditch was filled with smaller stones, giving it contrast from nearby grass so it could be better seen from above.

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A section of the leg of the moose geoglyph showing the depth of the ditch and the mix of stones.

Tools found in the area put the construction of the moose between 4000 and 2000 BCE, making it centuries older than the Nazca lines. It’s the tools that led archeologists to speculate on the age of the builders, according to Stanislav Grigoryev, a senior researcher from the Chelyabinsk History and Archaeology Institute.

Judging by the different sizes of the tools - from 17cm-long and weighing about three kilograms to some being just two centimeters - we can assume they were used by both adults and children. But it was not a kind of slave labor of children. They were involved to share common values, to join something important to all the people.

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Stone tools found by archeologists are small enough to be used by children.

Not much else is known about the lost civilization that built the geoglyph. This culture is believed to also be responsible for other Ural Mountains megaliths, including dolmens (tombs), menhirs (upright stone monoliths) and a megalithic complex on the Vera Island in Lake Turgoyak.

Grigoryev and his team hope to find ceramics that will tell more about these people.

It's not quite clear who the builders were. It is obvious that its creation has a big social importance. Geoglyphs are the symbols of unity.

We’d all like to know how they got their kids to willingly pitch in and help their parents.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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