Extract from Mysterious Australia. Written by Rex Gilroy (1995).
Iím an Australian who loves unsolved mysteries but I never had heard of the Marble Man. I doubt many have and the passages above are
about all that has been written about it in recent years but, thanks to Trove, we are able to take a stroll through the newspaper
archives of the day to relive this amazing story as it unfolded. Best of all, the Marble Man story is still unfolding after more
than 130 years...
Marble Man, Caleula: One day in May 1889, Mr Frederick Sala, an Orange, NSW quarryman, was digging at the Caleula quarry, about 50
kilometres out of Blayney, when he unearthed what he thought at first was an ancient statue of a normal-sized male body encased in
marble. Thinking it might also be the fossilised body of some prehistoric human, he lifted it with some difficulty into a large crate
on his cart and journeyed into Orange to show off his find to the amazed locals.
Doctors who subsequently studied the 'marble
man' thought him unique because of the perfect preservation of such features as water humours of the eye and the cartilage of the
nose which, in normal human remains, dry up after death.
A Sydney based scientist, Dr C. W. McCarthy, declared the 'marble man'
to be an actual petrified human corpse. It was obvious the 'marble man' was a form of Endocast, which would explain certain irregularities
of the figure due to geological pressures over untold thousands of years. The "Marble Man of Orange" was soon taken to Sydney for
public exhibition at two shillings admission, attracting large audiences of inquisitive people. Sculptors who examined the figure
declared it was definately not a statue as some people had suggested.
The 'marble man' was undoubtedly of very great antiquity
to have first been buried in lime-impregnated sediments and gradually to have become fossilised in the way 'he had'. However, the
mystery remains unexplained because after the exhibition 'he' was sold to an antiquarian dealer and shipped to Europe where the remarkable