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Old 14th February 2005, 06:15 PM   #61
Jens Nordlunde
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Hi BSMStar,

When you write 'I believe this is apart of the issue at hand.' I have to say no, this is a part of the understanding of the whole thing - so it is right on target .

I would like to thank you and the others who participate in this discussion, for explaning the things so clearly. Since I started this thread - which get more end more interesting - I have learned a lot, knowledge I which would have taken me a long time to gather - if I ever could - thank you very much.

Jens
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Old 14th February 2005, 11:05 PM   #62
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Jim posted this quote from Stone: A note concerning aesthetics : from Stone (p.664)
"...the most brilliant watering is in Malayan blades made by piling alternate layers of mild steel and an alloy of iron and nickel containing about 3% nickel.
These are welded and twisted in various ways and then etched with a mixture of lime jiuc and arsenous acid".
"..in the old blades the nickel alloy was meteoric iron, in some of the later ones it was Krupps nickel steel".

With all due respect to Stone, the last part of this quote just is not correct. This is part of the problem with this subject, we can find many accounts by scholars of an earlier time that are misleading at best and just dead wrong at worst. There is just NO evidence for meteoric pamor before the 19thC. Period. Maybe Stone meant something else by the phrase "old blades", but i would say old means pre-19thC. Not only that, Prof. Paiskowski's research has proven conclusively that much of the contrasting pamor in early keris is actually created by the use of high and low phosphorous iron, NO nickel at all. This is an important point to consider in evaluating the evolution of the keris blade.
I think it is a good thing that we have the reference material that we do when studying this material. But some of this info needs to be taken with a grain of salt. On this matter i have seen various authors who seem to pick up and pass along the same misinformation on this subject in a continuous chain of reference material. We can't just accept something because it is written, as clearly, sometimes these writers are wrong.
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Old 14th February 2005, 11:32 PM   #63
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Great discussion.

I am no expert but we may be taking the "meteoric iron" term too literally. Meteoric iron or steel is another term used for Nickel steel, and has nothing to do with its origins. The iron from a meteor usually has Ni at 5-15%, It is not the trace elements in it that identifies it as a meteor, rather what elements are not present ie lack of other alloying elements. Nickel steel manufactured here on terra firma usually has 3-5% Nickel. So if an e-bay seller is saying his Keris has "meteoric iron" he may not be embellishing his item, but, may be using a out of date term.

Just my 5 cents worth (pre 1964).
Jeff
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Old 14th February 2005, 11:55 PM   #64
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Jeff, though i like to see the best in every man, i don't think that is what eBay dealers are doing. However, i do think the majority of them are just misguided having heard the myth somewhere that ALL keris are made this way or reading about it in some reference book with outdated information. And then there are a few who tend to act knowledgable and make the claim that theirs truly is a meteorite blade, really, and if you were as smart as they are you would know it was true.
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Old 15th February 2005, 12:04 AM   #65
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Hi Nechesh,

You are of course correct. But like you I like to give everyone the benefit of doubt. Unless, of course, it is my good money taken in a scam. It also ties in Jim's Stone quote of Krupp manufacturing meteoric iron, it also may be the reason the outdated books use the term which now has a new meaning as the original term became outdated and not used in its original context.

All the best.
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Old 15th February 2005, 03:14 AM   #66
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Hi Jeff,
It's always good to see you come in, and I especially like your 'nickel's worth comment !



As Jeff has noticed, my placing the Stone quote was intended to illustrate the early use of terminology as pertains to 'meteoric'. I thought the reference to Krupps as a source for nickel in later blades was an interesting note to the importance of the nickel in achieving certain blade pamor aesthetically(perhaps I should have noted that specifically
Whenever Stone is used as a reference in discussion, most of us recognize that this is an venerable work that is typically considered in its context, as benchmark material that has in many cases, been superceded.
The material found in Stone presents interesting perspective as earlier research that can offer clues to continuing investigations. For example, as in the case of geneological research, it is typically necessary to rely on early and outdated maps, charts and historical data to seek information within key locations as counties, townships and cities have changed names, thus one cannot find information under the current names.

It is similarly sometimes important to know what theories, beliefs and material were regarded in references in contemporary times. This is why early narratives are considered so important in weapons research, contemporary observations.

I think it is extremely important to respect the work of the early authors and qualify data that has since been found incorrect (which has been done here with Nechesh's notes, thus achieving exactly that).

It is interesting to note from the foreward in the venerable volume we all know simply as 'Stone':
"...I am fully aware that this book is far from complete or perfect, but I trust that it may be an incentive to someone better qualified than I to write another on similar lines that will give more accurate information".
-George Cameron Stone, 1934

So here we all are, trying to do just that, and grateful to Mr. Stone for showing us the direction to follow.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 15th February 2005, 08:12 AM   #67
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Hi guys,

This is quite different form the discussion. I was just wondering, is there danger of emmision of dangerous gasses or other substance during forging a meteorite? Some meteorites contain xenon etc. I dont know this is dangerous or not. However, I heard one guy fainted and was admitted to the hospital while trying melting a meteorite. The exact cause i dont know. Curently i have a nickel-iron metorite from Nantan, China and i'm thinking of making a keris from it. Any comment?
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Old 15th February 2005, 10:48 AM   #68
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Jim, you are, of course, right about the importance of early work, however flawed, in aiding our continued research on the subject. Perhaps you noted that i started my comment on your posted quote "With all due respect to Stone" and that was indeed a sincere remark.
It is interesting to note that the certain blade pamor aesthetic that the import of nickel was trying to achieve seems to have been a European one, not a traditional one. Groneman, for instance, was trying to reproduce the higher nickel pamor effect of meteorite when he imported nickel for keris production, a look that was to his taste.
Rasdan, nice to see you are back from holiday. I will be sending you a message soon. At least if you do make a keris from your meteorite that will be one example we can be sure of.
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Old 15th February 2005, 01:27 PM   #69
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Hi rasdan,

Will you have the meteor analysed before you take the decision?
If you do please let us know what different metals it consists of, I am sure many will be interested in knowing.

Jens
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Old 15th February 2005, 01:50 PM   #70
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Jens, you beat me to it!

Yes, Rasdan, by all means, have some sort of chemical analysis done. It's for more than our curiosity--it might also be useful to the empu who does the work, to know what's in the meteorite you bring him before he starts working on it. It will be interesting to see how the pamor develops in such a blade.

Nechesh, thanks for discussing Prof. Piakowski's work. Now, if some chemist in the group will explain how arsenic binds differentially to phosphorus to produce the light and dark pamor bands, I'll be happy

Fearn
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Old 15th February 2005, 07:31 PM   #71
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I must say that I had started to wonder why this question was not asked, but maybe it has something to do with different time zones. But who asks the questions if of no difference, the interesting thing is to get the answers.

Jens

Last edited by Jens Nordlunde : 16th February 2005 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 15th February 2005, 07:40 PM   #72
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Rasdan,

I believe the Nantan has already been analyzed.

www.greatwallct.com/nantan.htm

The average Chemical composition in the Nantan meteorites are: Fe 92.35%, Ni 6.96%, belonging to IIICD type of iron meteorite based on the taxonomy of Wasson and others (1980). The following trace elements have been detected: C, Cu, Co, S, P, Cr, Ga, Ge, As, Sb, W, Re, Ir, Au, Ru, Pd, Os, Pr, and Mn. Ag, Cd, and Pb isotopes have been analyzed by Prof. Wang Daode and others (1993). http://www.pgrgem.com/color/datasheets/pgrmold.html

You may find more info surfing the net... but it looks like this meteorite may be a poor choice due to weathering.



fearn,

I'm going out on a limb here... so correct me if I am wrong. Realgar and Orpiment are an Arsenic Sulfide. In an acidic environment, the sulfur is released and bonds to the iron creating an Iron Sulfide (the brownish black color that is difficult to reproduce). Phosphorus will react to make a Phosphorus Sulfide, which is a pale yellow in color.

Here are some interesting links

http://forums.swordforum.com/showth...hreadid=4873&s=
http://www.sanztrust.org.nz/archives/knife.html
http://epswww.unm.edu/iom/Howto.htm

BMStar
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Old 15th February 2005, 09:07 PM   #73
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BSMStar, this is most interesting, although you loose me when you ask fearn the question about arsenic.
So you did know about analyze.
Maybe we need an explanation for the most common metals – what is Fe and so on, I am sure that not all can follow – maybe a sticky – what about it Andrew, I hope you are ‘listening’.

Jens
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Old 15th February 2005, 09:15 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
BSMStar, this is most interesting, although you loose me when you ask fearn the question about arsenic.
So you did know about analyze.
Maybe we need an explanation for the most common metals – what is Fe and so on, I am sure that not all can follow – maybe a sticky – what about it Andrew, I hope you are ‘listening’.

Jens


This link might be of some help Jens .

http://www.chemicool.com/
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Old 15th February 2005, 10:23 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
BSMStar, this is most interesting, although you loose me when you ask fearn the question about arsenic.


Hi Jens,

I'm sorry to be confusing... I was not asking about arsenic, it’s that I am making an assumption on the chemistry involved. I am assuming (a bad thing to do) the simplest reaction here (maybe someone will jump in and say this is an exotic organic salt of arsenic being formed with the lime juice instead. )

Keep in mind that 99.31% (according to this analysis) is iron (Fe) and Nickel (Ni). That means 0.69% will be other elements... they are present only in very small amounts. Check out carbon steel, I believe you will fine that it is not as "pure" or (in other words) that it will have other "stuff" in it, in larger amounts (it is an alloy after all). Nickel-iron meteorites were not "designed" or "created" for the same purpose or use as alloyed steel. That's why most of them (un-alloyed) are not very "workable" in a forging process.

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Old 15th February 2005, 11:58 PM   #76
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Hi Nechesh,
Well said! I didn't mean to take exception to what you were saying, but a guy like me who has cradled that book for this many years develops a distinct bond with it I guess I got a bit defensive, my apologies.
I think both of our views together are pretty good perspective, and that Stone himself would very much approve of the work we are all doing here.
I like the way you define and support the material being discussed, and we all benefit from the knowledge shared.
Back to work!!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 16th February 2005, 07:44 AM   #77
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Hi guys,

Regarding the composition of Nantan Meteorites, my only worry is that some of the elements in it might be dangerous when melted. However i read that the Chineese had melted them and use them as weapons a long time ago. I suppose theres no danger in doing that. If anybody have any information regarding this can u please tell me. I dont wanna cause trouble to my keris smith. Thanks.
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Old 16th February 2005, 09:42 AM   #78
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Hi BSMStar,
Don’t worry I try to follow as best I can, and I think it is interesting what you write. Yes I know about the carbon steel, and remember my surprise when I first saw it, that such a small concentration could have such a big influence.

Hi rasdan,
In 1621 a meteor was found in India and brought to Shah Jahangir who said: 'I ordered Master (Ustad) Daud to make a sword, a dagger and a knife out of it, and bring them to me. He represented that it would not stand below the hammer, and fell too pieces'.
If he had this knowledge, he must have tried to work with meteoric iron before, and lived to use his knowledge about the iron. I don't think you need to be afraid, but to be on the safe side, I think that an analyze would show if there is any danger.

Rick,
Thank you for the link. I almost fell off my chair when I opened the link, but after some time - getting used to all the colours I vagely began to understand a little, although I still miss a lot - hopefully the understanding will come.

Jens

Last edited by Jens Nordlunde : 16th February 2005 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 16th February 2005, 11:45 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rasdan
Hi guys,

Regarding the composition of Nantan Meteorites, my only worry is that some of the elements in it might be dangerous when melted. However i read that the Chineese had melted them and use them as weapons a long time ago. I suppose theres no danger in doing that. If anybody have any information regarding this can u please tell me. I dont wanna cause trouble to my keris smith. Thanks.


Hi rasdan!

I understand, I think you are Ok with the metallic part of the Nantan. There shouldn't be any volatile components there... but there may be a small amount volatile inclusions scatter through the meteorite. It is not wise to breathe the vapors from "hot" iron... so if the smith is using adequate ventilation and proper procedures.....
You may want to be sure you are working with an un-oxidized meteorite. Nantan is and old "fall" and has weathered for 400 years. Most of the pieces will mainly be iron oxides rather than workable metallic iron. Your Smith will know when they go to forge it and it will "fall apart under the hammer."


Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

BSMStar
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Old 16th February 2005, 05:57 PM   #80
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Depending to the books of Tammens there should be a lot of keris made from meteorite iron.

Tammens wrote in his books about different colors of pamor depending on the kind of metalls that were used. Tammens wrote also about research on the metal of keris and older keris showed after analysis that during the forging-proces meteorite pamor was used. Meteorite metal contains nickle in different degrees. Tammens, part 1, chapter Pamor, the soul of the kris.
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Old 16th February 2005, 08:38 PM   #81
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I must say, I don't know much about kerise's - close to nothing if I have to be honest, but when reading another thread it seems to be close to impossible to recognice meteroric metal, when the blade has been made. Did I miss something?

Jens
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Old 17th February 2005, 08:59 AM   #82
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I don't think you missed anything Jens, this is a very hard subject.

Tammens refers in his book to this forging with meteorite metall and mentions the differences between the meteorite pamor and the pamor made from pure nickle bars, mixed with the common iron. The pamor that comes up is very bright and the pamor from meteor iron has softer tones and gives more non pamor fields on the blade. But to be honest, I cann't recognize metoric pamor. But if we may believe the literature and research has been done, there should be alot of kerisses around made with meteoric pamor.
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Old 17th February 2005, 10:41 AM   #83
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Hi Henk. I believe that is the problem right there. I respect Tammens and his books, but i believe this is one instance where is is just mistaken.
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Old 17th February 2005, 11:13 AM   #84
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This is one of those threads I read the first half page of in real time, then it just "exploded" behind my back! In typical fashion, I'm responding while only 1/2 finished catching up.......I think the metal "not standing" beneath the hammer means that it cracked and crumbled when hammered upon, which wootz is also said to do if not worked properly, or perhaps if its chemistry is a little off, as with the meteor. Combining it (by hammering or melting I don't think is told?) with terrestrial metal diluted the impurity that caused the problem, allowing the metal to be worked ordinarily. The hope, I suppose, was that something about its chemistry might be bizarre and helpful. Odd pockets of terrestrial ores were known to have such properties. Skofnung and his brothers were said to have nonrusting edges. The Chinese didn't bother with iron weapons at first (until they got inexpensive, or until they improved?), because an impurity in one of the ores used in their bronze made it comparable....
Cut iron meteors display a flake-board-like pattern of angled crystals called a Windmenstatten pattern (spelling probably way off on that one), but only if cut/ground into; any hot working destroys this pattern, which could only be remade under the conditions of outer space or whatever. So, yeah, apart from burning a sample for spectroscopy, I don't think there's any way to tell the origins of a piece of forged iron. Musea and universities do it to things to follow ancient trade routes; "this dagger blade is made with copper from the Caucases...." etc. K(e)ris tangs are, AFAIK, formed by the two side plates of the blade, the cutting layer or core steel having stopped at or before the ganga, or at most within the first inch of tang. The two side plates of pamor metal are welded to each other, and then usually twisted together, too, so a tang tip actually should work, yes? I don't think I've seen any with tang extensions welded for length?

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Old 17th February 2005, 11:34 AM   #85
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Hello Nechesh,

I'm sceptical too, but Tammens refers in his book part 1 to dr. Groneman, who did research to the components of keris in Jakarta. He was the one who tested the blades and made the conclusion of meteoric iron. The same dr. Groneman did the same tests again in the Krupp nickle factories in Germany. Also is refered to the many meteors that were found and used to make pamorblades.

I don't know if you have the books of Tammens, maybe you should read that part. He refers also to a scientific magazine that analyzed the components of iron meteors that contained different nickle amounts.
The dutch book I refered to earlier in this thread mentioned the meteoric iron used for pamorblades especially from the prambanan meteor that was the largest one and brought eventually to the kraton.

Maybe mistakes were made, but free iron from heaven? Remember that we, Dutch have been there.
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Old 17th February 2005, 11:47 AM   #86
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BTW, I don't advocate the cutting up of old blades for testing; it actually horrifies me, and I think it might be especially bad with SE Asian blades, where I think a concept of "completeness" is important, and especially especially bad to do to a keris. It's a little like you see bigfoot, so you cut him up to find out what he is; seems ironic somehow, and wasteful.
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Old 17th February 2005, 03:20 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
Cut iron meteors display a flake-board-like pattern of angled crystals called a Windmenstatten pattern (spelling probably way off on that one), but only if cut/ground into; any hot working destroys this pattern, which could only be remade under the conditions of outer space or whatever.


Hi Tom,

Somewhat like the Keris, a cut and polished surface of an iron meteorite (except Ataxites) will only display the Widmanstatten structure after being acid etched.

There is a range of crystal structures from fine to coarse. The theory we learned (over 30 years ago) about the cause of this range of crystal structures, there was a planet or planetoid that existed between Earth and Mars. Through some event, the planet was destroyed... scattering its debris along what we call the asteroid belt. The core of the planet was made of "iron" like our own Earth's. As this nickel-iron core cooled, it crystallized. The slower the component cooled, the coarser the crystal structure became. I hope you will fine this helpful.

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Old 17th February 2005, 11:19 PM   #88
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Henk, indeed i do have Tammens Vol. 1 and i have read the passages over many times.I think the analysis of which he speaks is merely a way of determining the elemental components such as nickel, not the source from which they come. I don't believe it was necessary for Groneman to test blades to make the conclusion that they were meteorite. Groneman was a contemporary to the process. He knew a blade was meteroite probably because he knew the empu who made it, or the blade was well provenenced. He mayhave tested nickel content, but he was told they were from meteorites.
The meteorite analysis that Tammens sites is for strikes which took place on the other side of the world to Jawa, so while it is interesting it doesn't prove in any way that there were strikes previous to Prambanan that were used for pamor. He does metion four other meteorite sites on Jawa, Tjabe, Bandong, Ngarri and Djati Pengelon. Tjabe was ordinary stone Chondrite which fell in 1869, http://internt.nhm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/ea...ey=T1210&index= , Bandong was a stone LL6 that fell in 1871, http://www.nyrockman.com/museum/bandong-80.htm , Djati Pengilon is also ordinary stone Chondrite and fell in 1884, http://internt.nhm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/ea...Key=D910&index= . I could find no records of the other one mentioned. Perhaps they have an alternative spelling. They all don't seem to have any iron/nickel content to speak of AND they struck in the latter half of the 19thC so
Free iron from heavem may indeed be free (unless it hits you ) but it certainly ain't common. MOST blades were not made with this stuff. MANY old blades didn't even use nickel to create pamor contrast.

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Old 18th February 2005, 08:31 AM   #89
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You made a point Nechesh, and a stone doesn't make a pamor blade unless you heat it and collect the possible nickle and use it, but that is unlogical.
And I'm aware of the fact that different metalls were used to make a pamor blade without nickle.

I did read the dutch version of Tammens and I don't find mentioned that dr. Groneman was told that the metall came from a meteor. But it is very good possible like you put it. But when they told him the metall was from a meteor, our scientist wasn't acting very scietific
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Old 18th February 2005, 11:47 AM   #90
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I have thought of this idea of meteorite kris as a confusion of windmenstatten and pamor patterns, but could it be that there is an Indonesian folk belief that nickel or other metals originate from meteors, and even when mined from the Earth, that their origins "in the mists of time" are celestial? In Western Africa there is a folk belief that neolithic celts (knives/axes/palstave tips) come from the sky and are artifacts of divine/alien origin.
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