Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man, probably made in northern India, unearthed in Siberia


Currently, the Indian dancer can only be seen in photos and videos, as his owner is unwilling to share the find with the public. Photo: Vesti Novosibirsk

A ten-centimeter-tall figurine was discovered during the excavation of a new bridge over the Ob River in Novosibirsk, the third most populous city in Russia.

The valuable find, described by archaeological expert Andrey Borodovsky as “one of the most significant” ever made in the region, came after bulldozers began digging at a construction site for the fourth bridge over the Ob .

It is the narrowest part of the mighty and broad Siberian river, the seventh longest in the world, and has been used as a crossing point by travelers in the deep past.

The little dancer was probably left on the river bank as a sacrifice to the water spirits to ensure a safe crossing.

Probably, too, that on his trip from India to Siberia he changed several hands.


Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia


Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia
Dr Borodovsky, who was reached through an intermediary, said that negotiations to arrange for the transmission of the statuette to a museum so far have not been successful. Photos: Andrey Borodovsky, The Siberian Times


Until now, it is not known how or when the bronze dancer got to the heart of Siberia.

“The alloy of the statuette (62.1% copper, 15.3% tin, 15.2% lead and 7.4% zinc) is very different from modern bronze and most closely resembles bronzes antiques.

“ The dancer is male, because there is no clearly defined breast, and he is shown in a moment of ecstatic or religious trance, ” explained Andrey Borodovsky, the only scientist allowed to view the statuette, and who led a series. of tests to verify its authenticity.

Currently, the Indian dancer can only be seen in photos and videos, as his owner is unwilling to share the find with the public.

Dr Borodovsky, who was reached through an intermediary, said that negotiations to arrange for the transmission of the statuette to a museum so far have not been successful.

Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia


Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia


Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia
Unique 2000 year old statuette of a dancing man, probably made in northern India, unearthed in Siberia. Photos: Vesti Novosibirsk, Andrey Borodovsky


The dancer is shown leaning to the right, the statuette’s broken arms raised in the air and the head tilted left and down, as if the sculptor is trying to show a moment of the dancer spinning counterclockwise, perhaps be during a swirling dance.

It could have been one of those ecstatic dances known in Eastern practice as a way for priests or worshipers to communicate with a deity.

The man was shown wearing a roomy shirt with a drape over the shoulder, which could have been of fine silk, a shirt-shaped hem and a long belt.

“I see the tilt of the head as something similar to what the Semazen dervishes did when they danced. They tilted their heads to the left to put pressure on the carotid artery, which then caused them to enter a whirling trance. The man also has a dot on the forehead, which we see in the golden toreutics of Afghanistan, ”Dr Borodovsky said.

He believes the dancer was probably made in northern India about 2100 years ago, and that it was a part of a larger composition, possibly a circular ritual table with several dancers placed along its edges.

The dancer is shown leaning to the right, the statuette’s broken arms raised in the air and the head tilted left and down, as if the sculptor is trying to show a moment of the dancer spinning counterclockwise, perhaps be during a swirling dance. Photos: Andrey Borodovsky

Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia


Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia


Unique 2000-year-old statuette of a dancing man 'made in northern India' unearthed in Siberia


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