A Siberian man looking for fish accidentally found a god.
Nikolay Tarasov, 53, netted the extraordinary 4,000-year-old figurine while fishing in his hometown of Tisul, in Russia’s Kemerovo region.
The small object got tangled in his net and Tarasov was getting ready to chuck it back into the river when he glanced down to take another look.
“I stopped and washed the thing in the river and realized it wasn't a stone of an unusual shape, as I thought earlier, but a statuette,” the man told
The figure has a grim facial expression and round eyes. On the back, the carver has etched in plaited, wavy hair.
“Quite likely, it shows a pagan god. 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,” said museum director Marina Banschikova.
Tarasov’s hunch about the object turned out to be right, but even he was surprised when he realized how old it was.
The man decided to donate the figure to his local museum free of charge—even though it may be worth more than its weight in gold, according to the Siberian Times.
“To sell it and make profit? What are you talking about?” asked Nikolay. “People should see it, and learn the history of their region. It was quite clearly precious for the museums of any country.”