- Associated Press - Thursday, September 27, 2012

BERLIN (AP) - Researchers say a Nazi-backed expedition to Tibet returned to Germany in 1938 with an ancient Buddhist statue that was carved from a meteorite.

Scientists from Germany and Austria determined the origins of the 10.6-kilogram (23.4-pound) statue through chemical analysis.

They say its composition indicates it comes from the Chinga iron meteorite that crashed on the border of Russia and Mongolia 15,000 years ago.

The meteorite was officially discovered in 1913, but Elmar Buchner of the University of Stuttgart, Germany, said Thursday the statue could be 1,000 years old.


The research was published in the current issue of the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.