Analysis reveals Buddhist statue made of meteorite

Analysis reveals Buddhist statue made of meteorite

A ancient buddhist statue, which was recovered for the first time in 1938 on a Nazi expedition, has been analyzed by a team of scientists led by Dr. Elmar Buchner, from the Institute of Planetology at the University of Stuttgart.

The buddhist statue, probably 1000 years old and called "Iron Man", represents the god Vausravana and is believed to have originated in the pre-Buddhist Bon culture of the 11th century.

However, the most important and impressive thing is not the official data of the statue, but the geochemical analyzes carried out by the German-Austrian research team, determined that the statue was carved from ataxite, a very rare kind of iron found in meteorites.

Hombre de Hierro”Weighs approximately 10 kg and is believed to represent a stylistic hybrid between Buddhism and the earlier Bon culture. The statue was discovered in 1938 by an expedition of German scientists led by the famous zoologist Ernst Schäfer. It is not known how they discovered it, but it is believed that the large swastika carved in the center of the figure, may have encouraged the team to return to Germany.

Once it arrived in Munich, it became part of a private collection and was not available for study until an auction in 2009.

The findings of great importance especially for the curiosity, have been published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

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