fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: October 10, 2012 11:04AM
Scientists have found that a 1,000-year-old ancient Buddhist statue, which was
first recovered by a Nazi expedition in 1938, is carved from a meteorite.
The findings reveal the priceless statue to be a rare ataxite class of
Known as the Iron Man, the statue weighs 10kg and is believed to represent a
stylistic hybrid between the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist Bon culture that portrays
the god Vaisravana, the Buddhist King of the North, also known as Jambhala in
Tibet... Others take a different stance and say it is a statue of an ancient
warrior. Everyone has a different theory on this one - though whatever it is
meant to depict, one thing is certain, it is an incredible piece of art.
A Tibetan expedition organised by Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler and led by
Ernst Schafer found the statue in 1938. The expedition probably took the statue
to Germany because of its Swastika carved in its centre - a good luck sign that
existed in Tibetan Culture long before the Nazis used the symbol for their
The first team to study the origins of the statue was led by Dr Elmar Buchner
from Stuttgart University. The team was able to classify it as an ataxite, a
rare class of iron meteorite with high contents of nickel.
“The statue was chiseled from a fragment of the Chinga meteorite which crashed
into the border areas between Mongolia and Siberia about 15,000 years ago,”
said Dr Buchner.
Iron meteorites have been carved into more ancient objects such as knives, beads
and fishhooks, McCoy says. "But this is the most elaborate object I've ever
seen carved from a meteorite. Somebody put a lot of work into this. Iron
meteorites are basically an inappropriate material for producing
sculptures," the study finds. "The challenging use of the 'iron man'
meteorite as well as the partial gilding of the statue implies that the artist
was certainly aware of the outstanding (extraterrestrial) nature of the object
anonymonkey Report This Comment
Date: October 10, 2012 11:22PM
How exactly does someone, 1000 years ago, "carve" a statue out of
nickel heavy iron?
There is no way they had tools capable of carving hard metal that long ago.
BlahX3 Report This Comment
Date: October 11, 2012 12:24AM
Because it is in rock form, not smelted metals. Check your dates for the Iron
Age too, it goes way further back than 1000 years. I'm sure the required tools
were in use.