Buddhist 'Iron Man' made of meteorite stolen by Nazis

Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ Stolen By Nazis Is From Space

This one is in the running for the headline of the year – “Buddhist ‘Iron Man’ found by Nazis is from space“:

A Buddhist statue brought to Germany from Tibet by a Nazi-backed expedition has been confirmed as having an extraterrestrial origin.

Known as the ‘iron man’, the 24-centimetre-high sculpture may represent the god Vaiśravaṇa and was likely created from a piece of the Chinga meteorite that was strewn across the border region between Russia and Mongolia between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, according to Elmar Buchner, of the University of Stuttgart in Germany, and his colleagues.

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 that it could have been produced by the 11th century Bon Ben [Corrected 27/9] 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.

The use of iron from meteors in ancient times is an interesting topic. Cultures all over the world used the heaven-sent nickel-iron alloys, from the Inuit to the ancient Egyptians, and in many places the etymology of the word iron resolves back to ‘fire/thunderbolt/metal from heaven”. One can only imagine in what sort of reverence those ancient people held this seemingly god-given substance.

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  1. I Dunno…….
    I’ve thought a lot about that whole religious aspect to meteorites, found iron, etc.

    To my mind, they gathered up and used the stuff because it was an easy way to get iron without having to mine and smelt the stuff.

    That whole religious aspect, claiming it was sent from the Gods, etc, was just an excuse to keep it out of the hands of the hoi polloi, and in the hands of the elites running things.

    YMMV, of course, but that’s how I see it.

    1. The use of sky iron in
      The use of sky iron in Himalayan sing bowls is always an interesting selling point, and it was claimed that sky iron lent an unusual resonance to the bowls. I have an amazing bowl (bell) from the 16th century that allegedly includes meteorite iron. It resonates gloriously, so the idea of sky iron is enchanting.

      http://www.kashgar.com.au/articles/singing-bowls
      “Traditionally singing bowls were made of a bronze alloy consisting of seven metals: copper, tin, nickel, zinc, iron and small amounts of silver and gold. The most highly prized antique bowls included “sky-iron” smelted from meteorites and tektites, and sometimes even other rare trace metals.”

      Tektite glasses have a pronounced energy if one is sensitive along those lines. The most intensely energized tektite glass is moldavite. I can well believe that sky iron also retains an energetic imprint from the forces of earth collision and extreme pressure which are somehow frozen in the materials.

    2. sky is falling
      i think they just saw it fall from the sky and thought it was “heavenly” not necessarily from the gods. Humans have always been fascinated with the stars, it’s in our nature.

  2. Iron man
    Looks suspiciously like European art to me (the features are Caucasoid; the clothing appears medieval European; the figure has a halo as common to all Western religious art). It has a swastika and was “recovered” by the Nazis! It’s just a little too far of a stretch to believe this is an Asian artifact.

    It may be old. It made be fashioned from meteorite iron. But I seriously doubt the story that it’s from Tibet.

    1. Iconography
      [quote=purrlgurrl]Looks suspiciously like European art to me (the features are Caucasoid; the clothing appears medieval European; the figure has a halo as common to all Western religious art). It has a swastika and was “recovered” by the Nazis! It’s just a little too far of a stretch to believe this is an Asian artifact.

      It may be old. It made be fashioned from meteorite iron. But I seriously doubt the story that it’s from Tibet.[/quote]

      The halo and the swastika were standard parts of Tibetan Buddhist iconography, at the very least, so no anomaly there.

          1. http://www.himalayanart.org/s
            http://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=148

            Well maybe, but I could just as easily believe that this was commissioned by the Nazis as part of their cultural mission to prove that the Aryans came from Tibet. Sky iron can still be found laying about in certain areas on the plateau.

            http://www.bodhisattva.com/
            Rain Gray of Bodhisattva Singing Bowls heard about a big chunk of it having been found and hauled out of Tibet a few years, and he offered quite a sum for it. I suppose he wanted it as part of his collection and as an artifact of the idea that some of the early bowls included meteorite iron in the alloy.

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