Ancient Carved Wood? Oldest Wood Carving Found; The Big Shigir Idol Sculpture Statue. Is it a Family Totem or Representation of Other Beings?

Wood carving has been around for thousands of years. Why does mankind choose to create images, objects, animals and people from scrapes of wood? Maybe it’s to tell stories or make gifts they want to share. Guess that’s a question we’ll need to ask each artist. Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings wants to share with you one of the oldest wooden carvings ever found and ponder as to why the artist created it!

Big Shigir Idol Carved Wood Sculpture Statue

Thousands of years before the Egyptians ever started building pyramids; a wooden totem that stood 17.5 feet tall was carved by the hands of a Siberian Russian. This massive carving fell into peat bog (or swamp) where it laid in its own time capsule until 1894. This mysterious wooden figure became known as the Big Shigir Idol. This figure has baffled researchers for decades. Its body is covered in coded hieroglyphics, which has never been translated to this day. Some believe it tells a story, others feel it may just simply be a decoration. One fact we do know about the Big Shigir Idol, is that it’s very old. The first radiocarbon dating was done in 1997. The test revealed the wood carving to be 9,500 years old. As carbon dating improved, additional tests were conducted again. This time the tests placed the age of the piece at around 11,000 years old. This is twice the age of the pyramids, and 6,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Big Shigir Idol Writing & Code Message

This discovery was exciting to many researchers that studied early man’s development of civilization in Eurasia. With our enhanced technology, the carbon dating test also revealed the idol was made from freshly cut larch tree and that the tree itself was 157 year old at the time it was cut. The Big Shigir Idol is about the same age as the anthropomorphic stone found at the ancient site of Gobekli Tepe in modern day Turkey. This helps to show that hunters and fishermen from Urals created works of art. Many attempts have been made to translate the old hieroglyphics on the idol’s body, but without more relics with similar writing, it will remain a mystery as what was written by the artist. Some believe they have found seven faces depicting various emotions, but only one of them is three dimensional. Some think it is images of spiritual beings that inhabited the area of that ancient time. Others think it might be a family totem and tell the story of the family. Despite the theories, the old wooden carving still remains a mystery. The Big Shigir Idol can be found at Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

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One can only imagine as to what the Big Shigir Idol truly meant to those who beheld it. Even so, it’s truly amazing to know that wooden carvings been a part of mankind’s life and traditions for at least 11,000 years. Who knows but that perhaps the wood carving you buy from Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings will be cherished and loved by those who receive or inherit the gift, for many, many generations to come.