Wolfsegg Iron

Wolfsegg Iron : Also known as the Salzburg Cube. It is a small piece of iron found inside a coal block in the town of Wolfsegg Austria .

It was a find that hides great enigmas and mysteries. For the Wolfsegg Iron was found in a 60 million year old Wolfsegg deposit at the Schondorf Mining Foundry, Austria.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Description
  • 3 Other data
  • 4 Sources


This object is interesting because its origin is a mystery. It has sometimes been adduced as evidence that there existed, in prehistoric times, civilizations that surpassed the modern human race in technological development.


One of the most famous anachronistic objects is the so-called “Salzburg cube. In 1885 , when an Austrian iron foundry worker was breaking pieces of Wolfsegg’s coal, he found a cubic-shaped, though somewhat deformed, iron object. Noorbergen repeats the description of the object, which was soon well known.

The edges of this strange object were previously perfectly straight and defined; four of its sides were flat, while the remaining two sides, facing each other, were convex. At mid-height it had a fairly deep groove.

A paper that appeared in the publication of the nature of November of November of 1886 in the (volume 35, page 36), makes a description of the object shaped hub and a deep opening.

The cube size was 67 x 67 x 47 mm, with a weight close to 0.785 Kg. The specific weight of the metal was 7.75. According to a later review made at the Natural History Museum in Vienna in 1966, the object had a high probability of being a piece of artificial cast iron. However, the inevitable consequence of accepting the existence of modern mining technology 60 million years in the past, relegated the questioned piece to oblivion.

Many critics of the artifact argue that the dents could be the characteristics of a current meteorite, however analysis with electron beam accused absence of chromium, nickel and cobalt, typical elements present in such a case. On the other hand, the lack of sulfur showed that it was also not pyrite, or “fool’s gold”, named for its similarity to this metal, but containing 45.4% iron.

The final opinion of Doctor Kurat of the Museum and the committee of the Geologisches Bundesanstalt in Vienna was that the object was simply artificial cast iron. One of the most accepted hypotheses after 1966 , he proposed Wolfsegg’s Iron as part of an ancient mining tool.

A subsequent investigation, carried out by Hubert Mattlianer in 1973 , concluded that the piece was the result of a foundry obtained by the technique called ‘lost wax’. A molding well known to archaeologists, since it is a very ancient sculptural procedure, with which metallic figures were achieved, using a mold made of beeswax. This mold was covered with a special clay, placed in an oven, and the melted wax came out through holes prepared in the clay, while it hardened. The molten metal was then injected into it, taking the shape of the final container.

Other data

Wolfsegg’s Iron was examined in 1966 at the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The final opinion of Doctor Kurat of the Museum and the committee of the Geologisches Bundesanstalt in Vienna is that the object is simply artificial cast iron. It could be that such iron objects were used as ballast in primitive mining machinery. However, there is no evidence there that such iron blocks were made for mining.

The analysis showed that the metal does not contain nickel, chromium or cobalt, so it cannot be a meteorite, as had been originally thought. It looks like some kind of wrought iron. The crucial question is whether it actually formed from a lump of coal. It appears that the scientist who first investigated the cube and suggested that it was a meteorite did not even attempt to find the lump of coal with the cavity that had housed the cube. In the absence of this decisive piece of information, the Salzburg Cube received quite a disproportionate publicity regarding its intrinsic value.


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