The previous post, entitled "That's not an elk -- it's a Set-beast!" discussed the evidence which suggests that the recently-discovered geoglyph near Lake Zyuratkul in the Urals in Russia may not depict an elk at all but rather a creature known to historians as a "Set-beast" (because the ancient Egyptian god Set or Seth is often depicted with the head of a creature that, unlike most other Egyptian deities, does not seem to be an actual terrestrial animal but a sort of anteater-like creature with tall rectangular protrusions on its head).

However, the astute Mr. TRB of California wrote to me soon after that post was published to point out the animal pictured above -- the Saiga Antelope, which bears a more-than-passing resemblance to both the Russian geoglyph and the distinctive Set-beast!

This could be an important connection and one which could earn him a PhD if he were to pursue it (or another PhD, if he already has one or more).  Perhaps the Saiga Antelope, a critically endangered species today but one which once roamed from the British Isles to the Bering Strait and even into Alaska and what is now the Yukon, was the inspiration for the geoglyph -- and perhaps there is a connection to the Egyptian god Set as well.  

I have argued, following Jane B. Sellers, that the distinctive shape of the Set-beast may derive from a celestial source -- the constellation Lepus, located beneath the feet of Orion (a constellation closely associated with Osiris and hence with Set as well).  Jane Sellers presents convincing evidence that Set was associated with the adze-shaped stars of Taurus, which are above Orion and eventually (through precession), "usurped his throne."  The Memphite Theology relates how the Nine Gods ruled in judgement after this event and placed Set below Osiris instead of above him.

However, there is no reason to believe that the stars of Lepus (which are easily found beneath Orion, and quite visible this time of year, particularly after midnight and in the hours leading up to the dawn) could not have suggested the head of the Saiga Antelope to the ancients, which means that there could be a relationship between Lepus, Set, and this distinctive beast, which has a most unusual proboscis (see images below).

At this point, however, some readers may be wondering why we need to bring Lepus or Set into the picture at all, now that we have identified an actual terrestrial animal that could have served as the model for the Russian geoglyph.  It is possible, of course, that the geoglyph has no celestial significance at all, but I doubt it, for the simple reason that it is located among numerous other ancient monuments which clearly have celestial connections.

Not far from Lake Zyuratkul, where the "new" geoglyph was found, is Lake Turgoyak, home of six islands, the largest of which is called Vera Island or the Island of St. Vera.  Vera Island is dotted with an extensive array of dolmens, menhirs, and stone chambers.

I have never been to Vera Island, but the images of the ancient stone structures there strongly remind me of the ancient stone structures of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which I have visited (for a discussion of some of these, see previous posts entitled "Gungywamp," "Mystery Hill, New Hampshire," and "Ancient knowledge of accurate latitudes and ocean landmarks prior to 3500 BC," among others).

Below is a map showing the proximity of Turgoyak and Zyuratkul -- about 92 km by road (57 miles).

While it may be just a coincidence, it is noteworthy that these megalithic sites are found among geology with distinctive "hogbacks."  For more detail on these distinctive geological features, see the discussion in the previous blog post "Hogbacks of the California coast."  We recently noted that the ancient copper mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula were situated among hogback features, as were the amazing and unique fossilized whale-brains of San Luis Obispo County.

Below is a terrain map showing the hogbacks in the area.

Finally, Mr. TRB who pointed out the Saiga Antelope connection in the first place has also pointed out that the amazing ancient circular ruins and city of Arkaim are located in the vicinity of the geoglyph as well -- another 380 km to the south of Turgoyak (about 236 miles). Arkaim has extremely precise celestial alignments, which argues that the "new" geoglyph may well depict more than just a terrestrial animal (whether it be moose, elk, Saiga, or Set-beast), and that it may have celestial connections as well.

It would be very interesting if other geoglyphs are discovered in the vicinity of the "Set-beast" or "Saiga-shaped" geoglyph, and especially if one were found which corresponds to the constellation Orion.

Thanks again to TRB for the insightful comments and links!