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Buddhist statue was made of meteorite

September 28, 2012


An ancient Buddhist statue known as the Iron Man that the Nazis stole from Tibet in 1938. Scientists have discovered it was carved from a meteorite. Photo: PA

Buddhist statue discovered by Nazis is made of meteorite

The “Iron Man” statue, which bears a swastika on its chest, was brought back to Germany in 1938 after being found in Tibet by a team of SS members led by zoologist Ernst Schäfer.

The expedition was backed by Heinrich Himmler, the SS chief, who believed that the secret origin of the entire Aryan race could be uncovered in Tibet.

Now the first scientific study of the statue’s origins by experts from Stuttgart University has found that it is made of ataxite, a rare type of iron meteorite with a high nickel content.

Experts concluded it had been chiselled from a remnant of the Chinga meteorite which fell to Earth near the border of Mongolia and Siberia 15,000 years ago.

Meteorites were worshipped by a host of ancient cultures including the Inuits of Greenland and Australia’s aborigines.

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