The Iron Pillar of New Delhi.
Hundreds of Years Old, yet has Refused to Rust.

In New Delhi, India stands an iron pillar dating from the Gupta dynasty AD 320-540 (1,600yrs old), which has not rusted or corroded in all this time despite the harsh climate. It is about 7 meters high and weighs 6 tonnes. For years the secret for its stability could not be found using even the most modern analysis techniques, which gave rise to the pillar being mentioned by Erich von Daeniken and other writers who believe that there was more to ancient cultures than orthodox teachings tell us.

Recent news from a team in New Delhi lets us know that the secret has been "cracked". The found that the iron was protected by a layer of "misamite" which had been formed catalytically around the pillar due to a higher amount of phosphorous in the iron (about 1% compared to today's usual 0.5%). The ancient Indians did this by using charcoal at one point of iron extraction whereas today mainly limestone is used. Does this mean everything is now "hunky-dory" and we can relax and think of the ancients a "just" brilliant metallurgist? It may help to remind us that they figured this out a long time ago (and it worked), whereas we never developed this technique and have to make do with rusty iron... Nici

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