Ancient Statue Discovered By Nazis Is Made From Meteorite
An ancient Buddhist statue that was recovered by a Nazi expedition in the 1930s was originally carved from a highly valuable meteorite. Researchers say the 1,000-year-old object with a swastika on its stomach is made from a rare form of iron with a high content of nickel. They believe it is part of the Chinga meteorite, which crashed about 15,000 years ago. The findings appear in the Journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
The researchers believe it was carved from a piece of the Chinga meteorite that fell in the border region of eastern Siberia and Mongolia about 15,000 years ago. The debris from the crash was only discovered in 1913 by gold prospectors, but the individual fragment from which the stature was carved was collected many centuries before. The statue is believed to portray the god Vaisravana. The researchers think it belongs to the pre-Buddhist Bon culture that existed in Asia about 1,000 years ago.