2000-year-old 'iPhone case' found in Russian 'Atlantis'

If you need something to protect your new iPhone 11, how about a jewel-studded wooden case that's been buried for 2000 years?

Archaeologists in Russia have found just that, buried in a Siberian site nicknamed 'Atlantis' because it spends much of the year underwater.

Of course, it's not an actual iPhone case but it sure looks like one. It's actually a belt buckle, archaeologist Pavel Leus said, which was dug up last year when floodwaters receded long enough for them to do some digging.

He posted a photo of the buckle, with its owner 'Natasha', on Instagram earlier this week.

2000-year-old 'iPhone case' found in Russian 'Atlantis'
Photo credit: Pavel Leus/Instagram/RAS.

In a study on their findings, archaeologists at the Russian Academy of Sciences said 'Natasha's iPhone', as they dubbed it, had "two round holes on one side for fixing the buckle to the belt and one oval hole on the other side, probably for clasping". 

The buckle might look like an iPhone case, but would be a better fit for a phablet - at 18cm long and 9cm across, it's about 2.4cm too long and 1cm too wide to comfortably fit the biggest phones in Apple's range.

Radiocarbon dating puts the grave where it was found somewhere around the time of Jesus Christ, give or take a few decades. The first iPhone went on the market in 2007.