A vast geoglyph thought to be of an elk or deer discovered in Russia could predate Peru's famous Nazca Lines, experts have said.
The stone structure, located near Lake Zyuratkul north of the Kazakhstan border, features an elongated muzzle, four legs and two antlers.
The 900ft "animal", which was discovered in 2011, is covered by a layer of soil and faces north on the Zyuratkul ridge.
Stanislav Grigoriev, of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of History and Archaeology, wrote in the journal Antiquity that the largest stones of the structure were on the edges, with smaller ones inside.Peru's Nazca Lines date back to 500 B.C. Pic: Martin St-Amant
He told LiveScience: "The hoof is made of small crushed stones and clay. It seems to me there were very low walls and narrow passages among them."
An excavation team has discovered stone tools similar to pickaxes on the surface of the structure.
The style of the stone-working, called lithic chipping, dates to the Neolithic and Eneolithic period 6,000 to 3,000 years BC, Mr Grigoriev said.
If that is correct, it would make the moose geoglyph much older than Peru's Nazca Lines, the earliest of which were created around 500 BC.
The Nazca Lines, between the towns of Nazca and Palpa, feature hundreds of lines, geometric shapes and designs of animals. They were discovered in 1927.