Oman takes possession of prized meteorite

Muscat - 

A team from Oman has taken possession of a prized meteorite which was found in the Al Wusta desert in 1954 and taken to the UK for examination purposes.

Geologist Dr Mohammed Hilal al Kindi took possession of this more than 8kg meteorite in the presence of H E Sheikh Abdulaziz al Hinai, Oman’s Ambassador to the UK.

Elaborating on how the meteorites were discovered in Oman, Dr Kindi said, “Oil explorers were the first to conduct geological surveys of the Arabian Peninsula and Oman a hundred years ago. Oman’s land, rich in unique geological wonders, attracted many discoverers.

“In 1954, British oil explorers while travelling on a Land Rover accidentally ran over a meteorite in the central desert of Al Wusta province. Under the supervision of geologist Don Sheridan, the meteorite was taken to Duqm camp.”

Two more meteorites discovered between 1956 and 1958 were taken to the UK for study purposes. Dr Kindi said, “One of the meteorites ended up as an exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London and another at the home of chief geologist at an oil company, Mike Morton.”

The meteorite remained at the home of Morton and his wife Heather took its possession after his death in 2003, said Dr Kindi. “When I and my colleague, geologist Alan Hayward began collecting rock samples for Oman Across Ages Museum, we contacted Mike Morton’s family. We requested them to hand over the meteorite for Oman Across Ages Museum. The family responded quickly as Heather and her son Conton handed over the meteorite to us in the presence of H E Hinai and my colleague Hayward.”

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