Small stones fill big gap

Small stones fill big gap - Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

By: RAMM Museum
Added: 10 April 2011

RAMM has just acquired six Australite tektites. What? You might well ask.

Tektites (from Greek tektos - molten) are dark glassy objects that are believed to have been melted from the earth’s crust by major meteorite impacts and thrown up into a suborbital trajectory from which they subsequently fell back to earth.

There are four ‘strewn fields’ of tektites; three are associated with known meteorite craters, but the most extensive, covering parts of Indonesia and large areas of Australia, does not have a known source. The museum’s tektites are about 700,000 years old and come from the Nullarbor region of South Australia, hence the local name Australites. Two have been flaked to form tiny tools by Aborigines.

The tektites were collected and donated by Mr Brian Blakewail, a widely travelled army engineer who was based at Maralinga in South Australia in 1962. He now lives in Devon.