A newly discovered geoglyph in Siberia predates those found at the famous Nazca Lines in Peru. The pebble and sandstone bull, which measures 3 by 4 meters (9.8 by 13.1 feet), is the first ever animal geoglyph that has been found in that specific part of the planet.
This newfound geoglyph was discovered near the village of Khondergey in the southwestern part of the Republic of Tuva. And it is ancient as it was associated with burials from over 4,000 years ago during the Early Bronze Era. This means that it is a thousand years older than the Uffington White Horse in England, and twice as old as Peru’s Nazca Lines.
The Nazca Lines are a group of geoglyphs that are found over an area of almost 190 square miles (492 square kilometers) and the majority of them date back about 2,000 years. The Uffington White Horse was carved into the white chalk hillside of England’s Berkshire Downs approximately 3,000 years ago. And earlier this year, a gigantic spiral geoglyph found in India’s Thar Desert is believed to be the largest on the entire planet.
As for the geoglyph found in Siberia, unfortunately the front part of the bull was destroyed when a road was constructed at the site back in the 1940s. The only remaining parts of the geoglyph are the bull’s backside, hind legs, and tail.
Marina Kilunovskaya, who is the head of the Tuva Archaeological Expedition, described the discovery in further details, “We do see bulls as petroglyphs around Tuva and the neighboring territories - but coming across the animal geoglyph is a unique discovery for the whole region of Central Asia. We didn’t previously find such stone compositions.” Geoglyphs are big motifs (normally larger than 4 meters or 13.1 feet) in the ground that were made by stones, pebbles, gravel, or by removing the soil to create lines. Petroglyphs are designs that were made by carvings or chippings in rock surfaces.
Interestingly, during the Early Bronze Era, cultures from Central Asia used bull motifs quite often, while deer were used years later during the Scythian times.
Kilunovskaya went on to say, “Although we can recognize the bull depiction, allowing us to reconstruct the lost parts with a high degree of probability, we have never seen stone layouts such as these before. In our opinion, the uniqueness of the find and the threat to the site due to the adjacent road requires further preservation.”
Pictures of the bull geoglyph in Siberia can be seen here.