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5 December 2014
Children involved in making giant 'moose' geoglyph

A giant stone geoglyph, in the shape of a moose, radiocarbon dating from approximately 3,000 to 4,000 BCE, is still baffling archaeologists regarding its origin.
     The geoglyph is 275 metres long, with four legs, antlers and a long snout and was only discovered, in 2011, by using images from space. It lies hidden in a forested section of the Ural Mountains in Russia, and pre-dates the Peruvian Nazca Lines by approximately 2,500 to 3,500 years. The mystery revolves around the fact that there was not a known culture in that region, at that time, with enough sophistication to have developed the concept, although similar petroglyphs have been found in Finland.
     The other intriguing fact on this site is the apparent use of children in its construction. This conclusion has been extrapolated from the examination of the tools which were found (155), varying from 17 cm to 2 cm in length and used for digging and breaking stones. It is not thought that this was the use of child slave labour but more likely just a group activity.
     Stanislav Grigoryev, senior researcher from the Chelyabinsk History and archaeology Institute (Russia) is quoted as saying "It puzzles me a lot, I keep thinking about the people that built the geoglyph, and their purpose". He went on to add "It may help if we find ceramics on the site. Ceramics could help us with the date and with understanding who these people were that created the geoglyph. It's not quite clear who the builders were. It is obvious that its creation has a big social importance. Geoglyphs are symbols of unity".

Edited from The Siberian Times (3 November 2014)

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