King Tut Kept Dagger That Came From Outer Space
He’s been dead for thousands of years, but King Tutankhamun is still surprising researchers with new – and in this case – bizarre findings.
On Wednesday, The Guardian reported researchers analyzed the metallic composition of a dagger entombed with the boy king and found the blade is made from iron from a meteorite.
That’s right. King Tut had a dagger that was literally out of this world.
In 1925, archaeologist Howard Carter found two daggers within the wrapping around Tutankhamun. One dagger had a blade of gold, while the other was iron.
From The Guardian:
“The iron blade, which had a gold handle, rock crystal pommel and lily and jackal-decorated sheath, has puzzled researchers in the decades since Carter’s discovery: ironwork was rare in ancient Egypt, and the dagger’s metal had not rusted.”
To determine the blade’s chemical composition, Italian and Egyptian researchers used an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and discovered a high nickel content along with levels of cobalt that were consistent with other meteorites found within 2,000km of the Red Sea coast near Egypt.
In 2013, nine black iron beads were excavated from a cemetery near the Nile River and were revealed to have been beaten out of meteorite fragments.
As the iron was not widely used at the time, researchers now believe Egyptians placed a high level of importance on the meteors.
“As the only two valuable iron artifacts from ancient Egypt so far accurately analysed (sic) are of meteoritic origin, we suggest that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of fine ornamental or ceremonial objects,” the team studying the knife wrote in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science.