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.
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.
Fieldwork carried out this past summer has shed more light on the glyph’s composition and date, suggesting it may be the product of a “megalithic culture,” researchers say.
The style of stone-working called lithic chipping used on one artifact dates it to the Neolithic and Eneolithic (sixth to third millennia B.C.), though Grigoriev says the technology is more typical of the Eneolithic, between the fourth and third millennia B.C.
If that date is correct, it would make the geoglyph far older than Peru’s Nazca Lines, the very earliest of which were created around 500 B.C.
It is made of elaborate array of clay and stones. It’s an interesting find that sheds light on the ancient prehistoric cultures of the Urals.