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Magical new 4,500 year old finds add to 'oldest toy collection in the world'

By The Siberian Times reporter
28 December 2017

An ancient doll and a mythical animal were buried with a child from the Okunev culture in the Bronze Age.

The toy animal head is made from antler or horn. Picture: IIMK RAS

The rare discoveries of the pre-historic toys were made at the Itkol II burial ground in the Republic of Khakassia, southern Siberia. 

The doll had ‘carefully worked out facial features’ and was made of soapstone - a soft rock made mostly of talc, said archeologist Dr Andrey Polyakov, from the Institute of History of Material Culture in St Petersburg. 

The head of the doll is around 5 centimetres tall. 

Head of soapstone

The doll had ‘carefully worked out facial features’ and was made of soapstone. Picture: IIMK RAS

The toy animal head is made from antler or horn. 

Experts are as yet unsure what animal it depicts but it is perhaps mythical. 

In both cases the bodies of the toys were made from organic material and did not preserve. 

The finds were made in the grave of a ‘common child’ - not an elite burial, said Dr Polyakov.

Tisul figurine


Tisul figurine


Tisul figurine

A figurine of a pagan god pulled out of a Siberian river by an angler was likely a child’s toy or rattle to ward off evil spirits. Picture: Pavel German & Vladimir Bobrov, Tisul History museum

The Okunev culture is seen as having links to Native Americans - and this is not the first time their toys have been found. 

Indeed, the latest finds add to an intriguing collection. 

A figurine of a pagan god pulled out of a Siberian river by an angler was likely a child’s toy or rattle to ward off evil spirits. 

It has almond-shaped eyes, a large mouth with full lips,  and a ferocious facial expression. 

On the back is 'plaited hair with wave like lines. Below the plait there are lines looking like fish scales.' 

Fisherman Nikolay Tarasov made ‘the catch of a lifetime’, said museum staff.

Itkol burial


Itkol figurine


Rattle Rattle

Eight intricately carved figurines with the faces of humans, birds, elk and a boar lay on the chest of the ancient infant. Pictures: Andrey Polyakov & Yuri Esin

Meanwhile a collection of ghoulish figurines discovered with a baby’s remains in a birch-bark cradle two years ago have been hailed as the oldest rattles ever found. 

Eight intricately carved figurines with the faces of humans, birds, elk and a boar lay on the chest of the ancient infant.

Each was up eight centimetres long.

This discovery was made on the northwest short of Lake Itkul.

Comments (11)



We have too much arrogance, considering our ancestors, hairy and dull beings. If that were so, we would not be here today. They were in a period of humanizing. So there are tools for men, tools and accessories for women, and small tools and toys for your children,
jerico, Spain
26/03/2018 16:59
3
0
modern european men and woman are not living like the normal, natural people of the world, and instead of living naturally on it, they are exploiting and raping it. They are primitives, who defile and desecrate her , Whos the " Primitives" then!?
Normandie Kent, Santa Barbara , Ca.
20/02/2018 03:02
0
0
The report does not mention if the infant was buried in isolation. I'd be interested to know
Toni Maguire, Northern Ireland
02/01/2018 04:36
3
0
These are remarkably similar to some of the totem poles you see on the west coast of the United States.
Constance Mussells, East Greenwich RI/ USA
01/01/2018 05:12
4
1
阿尔泰山一带是华夏传说中的“昆仑”,上帝的下都,可能是澳洲、华夏、印欧、阿尔泰、闪含、美洲人最早的起源地。
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
31/12/2017 07:11
0
0
3rd one down looks like an owl to me.
Andrew Irvine, United Kingdom
30/12/2017 06:52
6
1
People had the time to create such beautiful, carefully made items due to the long Winter months; they were intelligent enough to devise warmth and shelter for themselves and their beasts, and so the dark hours indoors were spent exercising the mind as well as the hands and the carver's knife. I've always thought that it's the Winter that brought about invention and innovation; you have time to think.
Suzanne, Tucson/USA
30/12/2017 02:31
25
0
The animal figure is clearly a hoarse head. Looks like some old stuff my grand father had in his collection from our tribes past.
Geo, AnywhereUSA
30/12/2017 02:05
6
3
Are these from the time period of Noah? Looks like it to me. People seem to forget We are a creation of GOD and have been knowledgeable since the beginning. Adam and Eve were the first humus man. Of course man was genuius, we are created in The image if GOD.
Chris Ashford, Charlotte NC
30/12/2017 01:05
13
106
This child was loved very much. You can feel the grief. The items and their placement on the body show that someone back then, really, probably everyone throughout time, loved their children just as dearly as we love ours today.
Laura, DC/USA
30/12/2017 00:52
48
0
It's interesting to note that primitive people (whatever that means) had the time and interest to create such interesting and intricate items.
Edward Hayden, Middletown/USA
29/12/2017 22:55
22
0
1

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