A friend of mine, Clifford M, is from Kerala, India. On a recent trip there, he found an interesting area in a rubber plantation full of what looks like previously molten metal. If you can identify this object with certainity, then please contact me.
The area where these objects are found used to be jungle until a century ago. It is now a rubber plantation. In order to make it arable, the area had to be cleared from a lot of fragments of what appears like previously molten metal. These objects were found on the surface, as well as under it. The sizes vary from walnut size to tens of centimeters.
Upon testing for magnetism, this fragment was found to be ferrous in nature, i.e. composed of iron and/or nickel.
Cliff, another friend, Jim, and myself had a brain storming session on this object. During that session we discovered that it is magnetic. Here are the various postulates we have:
I am not sure that volcanoes can spew out ferric material or not. Mostvolcanoes would have silicate based lava and other rock types. There isalso no known volcano in the area.
Many meteorites are magnetic, being made of nickel and iron. However,meteors do not normally have time to melt and solidify as they pass inEarth's atmosphere. Could it be the super heated surface shattering onimpact and splattering over the area?
In any case, a phone call to a geologist at the University of Waterloo confirmed that this cannot be a meteorite. He was leaning towards the next theory.
Slag from an ancient Foundry
The object is very similar to archeometallurgic slag mentioned on the sites listed in the references.
However, why would ancient people toil extracting massive amounts ofiron ore, only to waste the product and spill it on the ground?
How far would the source of iron reasonably be?
No known civilization has inhabited this place, which was jungle untila century ago. Moreover, Cliff looked for pits with charred remains from the massive fires needed to extract iron from the ore. There were none. If there were any, they would be a good candidate for carbon dating.
If this is proven to be an ancient foundry, then itwould cause the current knowledge on the region to be reevaluated.
Here are pictures of the object that he was able to get back. It is a fairly small sample compared to others in the area.
The following sites may be of interest: