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In Delhi, India is the famed Ashoka Iron Pillar, generally believed to date from the 4th century A.D., but said by some scholars to be over 4,000 years old. It is a solid shaft of iron 16 inches in diameter, standing 23 feet high and weighing more than 6 tons. It has attracted the attention of both archaeologists and metallurgists, as it has withstood corrosion and decomposition for over 1,600 years in the open air. The pillar defies explanation, not only for not having rusted, but because it is apparently made of 98 percent pure wrought iron. This testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian ironsmiths can only be produced today in tiny quantities by electrolysis. The mystery of the use of iron in Asia, especially in India, is one that largely baffles modern metallurgists. Is is assumed that these countries developed iron and other metallurgical skills after the west, but the evidence indicates otherwise. The pillar bears an inscription which states that it was erected in honor of the Hindu god Vishnu, and in memory of the Gupta King Chandragupta II (375-413 A.D.). How the pillar moved to its present location remains a mystery.

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Originally posted 2017-12-18 00:22:07.