A Russian fisherman dredged up a 4,000-year-old statue of a pagan god that is “probably worth its weight in gold,” according to local archaeologists.
The fairytale find came with a haul of carp as Nikolay Tarasov enjoyed a day off work fishing in Tisul, a village in southern Russia.
“I used a net, rather than a line, and was hauling it in when I felt the net go heavy and thought it had snagged on a rock,” he recalled to The Siberian Times.
“I pulled it in by getting my pal to help and was going to chuck it away. But then I stopped when I saw it was a stone with a face.”
“I washed the thing in the river - and realized it was a statuette.”
The 12-inch pagan god is carved from bone and sports a fierce expression on its ancient face.
“I suspected it might be a couple of hundred years old, but had not considered it might by older,'” Tarasov told the local English-language paper.
Curators at a local museum told Tarasov that it was an object from the beginning of the Bronze Age.
“Quite likely, it shows a pagan god,” says Marina Banschikova, director of the Tisul History Museum. “Items from this period are very rare, the only things we have dated approximately to the same age are a stone necklace and two charms in the shapes of a bear and a bird.”
The curators passed the object along to experts in Kemereovo, who dated the statuette at 4,000 years old, carved in horn which had fossilized.
Tarasov donated his catch to the museum without asking for any compensation, considering it a matter of cultural importance.
“People should see it, and learn the history of their region. It is quite clearly precious for the museums of any country,” he said.
Sources: The Siberian Times