Can’t resist a story with a touch of the ancient and touch of the alien? The story of a Tibetan statue of the god Vaiśravaṇa should be just up your alley, as scientists believe it was made of the third known piece of the Chinga meteorite thought to have fallen to Earth between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago.
And did we mention there are Nazis, too?
Given the extreme hardness of the meteorite – “basically an inappropriate material for producing sculptures” the paper notes – the artist or artists who created it may have known their material was special, the researchers say. Buchner suggests it could have been produced by the 11th century Ben culture but the exact origin and age of the statue – as opposed to the meteorite it is made from – is still unknown. It is thought to have been brought to Germany by a Nazi-backed expedition to Tibet in 1938-39. The swastika symbol on the piece – a version of which was adopted by the Nazi party – may have encouraged the 1938 expedition to take it back with them.
“While the first debris was officially discovered in 1913 by gold prospectors, we believe that this individual meteorite fragment was collected many centuries before,” said [Elmar] Buchner [of the University of Stuttgart] in a statement. “The Iron Man statue is the only known illustration of a human figure to be carved into a meteorite.”
If this doesn’t scream for another Indiana Jones remake, we don’t know what does.
A gift from the gods.Author on Google+