before i get started i need to credit Stirling for bringing this fascinating geoglyph to my attention in this thread, which sadly got somewhat lost
and deserved a lot more attention..
i would also like to thank him for kindly agreeing to me starting a thread on it to bring more information on this to members here. i have used some
info i posted re the elk from that thread.
Mods, i feel that a new thread on this is justified for the reasons stated above, and as the geoglyph was not the focus of the original thread,
this is a 2007 pic of the geoglyph from an article in The Huffington Post that Stirling posted..
A huge geoglyph in the shape of an elk or deer discovered in Russia may predate Peru's famous Nazca Lines by thousands of years.
The animal-shaped stone structure, located near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan, has an elongated muzzle, four legs and two
antlers. A historical Google Earth satellite image from 2007 shows what may be a tail, but this is less clear in more recent imagery.
Excluding the possible tail, the animal stretches for about 900 feet (275 meters) at its farthest points (northwest to southeast), the researchers
estimate, equivalent to two American football fields. The figure faces north and would have been visible from a nearby ridge.
besides Nazca, the Elk is similar to chalk hill figures like the Uffington White Horse in England - it would have been highly visible due to the rock
used to make the outline, and like the White Horse, was maybe not just intended as decoration, but more on that later..
this is the best vid i could find on the subject, it's in russian (i think) but is well worth watching for perspective - sadly i could not find it on
YT so here is the link
Archaeologists have excavated small parts of it, and the lines used to form the shape are up to five metres wide, constructed of pale rock
We initially thought that the large stones outlining the figure were set to serve as the basis for the infilling and to mark the outline of the
figure since they would easily be visible form the ridge. But results from Trench 2 suggest that the large stones were set on the stone strip to
create a visual effect when observing the image from the ridge. As the ridge of Zjuratkul consists of white quartzite, and the same material was used
for the hill figure, the figure would initially have looked white and slightly shiny against the green grass background
and It's most likely between seven and nine thousand years old, easily predating Nazca and English hill figures by at least five thousand years to the
best of our knowledge.
in antiquity the stone outline would have protruded above ground, and today there is 40–50cm of humic soil over the virgin soil in the trench.
The formation of soils in the high-mountain area of Lake Zjuratkul began in the very early Holocene. In conditions of gradual and uniform accumulation
of humus, this soil accumulation would suggest that it took place over 7000–9000 years; i.e. from the Neolithic onwards
I was reading about the White Horse very recently in John North's "Stonehenge - Neolithic Man and the Cosmos". He explains how the general shape of
the figure could have changed quite a lot over time (due to it being retouched over thousands of years - it's in a fairly densely populated populated
area compared to the urals) he postulates that to draw conclusions from it we should instead look at the specific location of the figure instead.
Interestingly this elk appears from the pics in the links to be on only a slight incline, and similar to the white horse, not situated for best
visibility by "locals" - after all, if they wanted to leave a mark that they could all see to it's best, there are many better slopes around to
display the figure on for viewing.
North suggests that the incline of the plane that the figure is on is the key factor, and that viewing along the figure from tail to head points at
aldebaran (a major star in taurus, and many think the horse was originally a bull). hence many chalk figures being astronomical/astrological markers.
nothing too new there, but the perspective of ignoring the dimensions of the figure, and just taking notice of it's setting and the way it points was
a somewhat fresh perspective in '96 when published.
so, not for display and viewing at all, but for providing a sightline?
Palaeozoological suggests that the land would likely have been unforested at the time the glyph was made.
Well that would certainly help the viewing of stars near the horizon...
I wonder what constellation the ancient folks of the urals referred to as the elk? which constellation does the elk's head (or antlers) point to?
After a bit more research i found a webpage regarding the big dipper/plough constellation being known as "the elk" in russia... i wonder if one were
to look from the tail to the antlers we would see something like this as the seasons go by?
Evenk cosmology tells how the Sun was captured and carried about the sky by the cosmic Elk (Big Dipper constellation). The Elk and her daughter
(Little Dipper) were hunted by the Bear or Hunter (the bright star Arcturus and Bootes). The Elk fled to the Sea and became Seli/Holi the Mammoth.
The outline of The Elk does not seem
to bear much resemblance to the constellation of The Plough (The Big Dipper to some)
but i'm not sure that a resemblance to the constellation represented by the figure is overly important, more the significance of it.
Obviously elks (moose to those not from the USA) were hugely important to many ancient peoples - such large animals could provide huge amounts of meat
compared to most game and just one kill would have gone a long way indeed. the skins would have provided raw hide or been tanned for leather, bones
could be used for tools, weapons and materials for art, and the antlers make superior hammers for knapping flint and other lithics - they are still
highly valued for that today (i wish i had some!)
Elk/Moose are often represented in ancient art due to the values outlined above, and were surely aintegral part of ritual and myth. Petroglyphs of
them still exist in many places to bear testament to this, as do other finds - i came across these awesome ones from Alta in Norway:
two female elk pecked into rock, one of which has been painted, the other is regularly rubbed in alcohol to retatd lichen growth
this next one ties quite amazingly with the atifact that follows..
A c. 40 com long elk-headed pole made from bone from a 7500 year old burial site in Russian Karelia. Digitally enhanced photo of poster exhibited
at Alta Museum
edit on 25-2-2013 by skalla
edit on 25-2-2013 by skalla because: title again
edit on 25-2-2013 by skalla because: title yet again,
think i'm happy now