Gibeon (AMNH 3752, AMNH 4379)

  • Exhibition Text

    • Meteorites are cool

      The Nama people of Namibia, in southern Africa, at one time made weapons from iron they hammered off the Gibeon meteorite. Numerous fragments of Gibeon have been identified across Namibia since a British scientist in the early 1800s recognized the iron as being of meteoritic origin.

      The large mass of Gibeon on display has not been sliced; the slab was cut from a different piece of Gibeon. Like all metal, Gibeon is cool to the touch because it conducts heat away from your body. Examination of the slab reveals that Gibeon is made of metal that has crystallized in the so-called Widmanstätten pattern, found only in iron meteorites.

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  • Collection Information

    • GIBEON

      Found 1836

      Great Nama Land, Namibia, Africa


      AMNH 3752 (mass)

      AMNH 4912 (slab)

  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Meteorites

      Keywords: Astrophysics, Astrogeology, Meteorites--Africa, Nama (African people), Meteorites, Iron

      Audience: General