Goddess of Mal’ta-Buret
24,000–15,000 BCE
Mammoth ivory – 3.4″ high
Found in 1927 near
Lake Baikal, Siberia

buretThe Mal’ta-Buret culture lived in semi-subterranean dwellings built of mammoth bones covered with animal skins. Until 1927, when 29 goddess figures were unearthed near Lake Baikal, none had been discovered outside Europe. As Joseph Campbell noted in Primitive Mythology, “a firm continuum has been established from Lake Baikal to the Pyrenees of a mythology of the mammoth-hunters in which the paramount image was the naked goddess.” Recent research indicates that people of the Mal’ta-Buret culture may have contributed to the genetic ancestry of American Indians.

The State Hermitage Museum,
Saint Petersburg, Russia


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