An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine
by Martin Horejsi of  Martin Horejsi's Meteorite and Tektite Books


Zabrodje, Belarus:

A Hundred Year Old House Hammerer

Those villagers in the Minsk region of Belarus that happened to look skyward just two hours before sunset were witness to an odd cloud moving across the evening sky. Moments later, 3kg of L6 chondrite installed an unwanted skylight into the roof of a house.

At the time of the September 22, 1893 fall of Zabrodje, it was only the third known meteorite from this country, and the second witnessed fall. The first recovered meteorite in Belarus was the famous Brahin pallasite, and the second was a 246g howardite that fell in 1858 and later named Zmenj. The third Belarusian meteorite was Zabrodje, and it smashed through a roof. Not a bad meteorite collecting start for this country that is about the same size as Kansas.

The black velvet evening gown of melted L6 drapes gently over the seductive curves of Zabrodje. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.


The swirling, flowing lines of Zabrodje capture the imagination suggesting that after Zabrodje was batted out of the interplanetary ballpark, this soft-ball-sized chondrite was spinning wildly when it drilled through the roof of a house.

This wonderful 100g corner section was acquired by the late Terry Schmidt. It likely came from either the Vilnius University in Lithuania, or a museum Odessa, Russia since those are the only two repositories of Zabrodje material listed in the British Catalogue that contain a piece over 100g. In fact, the Chicago Field Museum claims only 4g of Zabrodje (the largest in any listed US institution), the 'British Museum' claims only 3g, and the US National Museum claims none.

In the early 1990s, Blaine Reed was able to purchase this specimen of Zabrodje from the estate of Mr. Schmidt. In August of 1992, the specimen again moved, this time into a private US collection where it rested comfortably for 13 years. Early this spring, the specimen once again packed it bags and moved into my home.

A shock vein scars the cut and polished face of Zabrodje bearing witness to its own trials in space. Although outer space is a cold place to wander alone, the unusually thick crust blanketing this cosmic transient only appeared after things finally warmed up.

The broken face of Zabrodje offers viewers more shock veins that wander through the matrix like rivers viewed from a mountain top; flowing apart making islands, entwining again, parting ways further down stream.

With all the rare classes of stone meteorites available to collectors, it is often easy to overlook the humble and abundant L6 chondrite. But meteorites, including Zabrodje, are continious reminders that incredible specimens still lurk around collection worldwide, but one must look beyond mere classification to find them.


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