Jun 2, 2016

Scientists Confirm King Tut’s 3300-year-Old Dagger Forged from Meteorite

Scientists Confirm King Tut's 3300-year-Old Dagger Made from Meteorite (1)

Photograph by Carsten Frenzl

 

Researchers have confirmed that ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun’s (14th century BC) iron dagger was made from meteorite. The findings were published in a new paper in the Journal of Meteoritics and Planetary Science entitled, The meteoritic origin of Tutankhamun’s iron dagger blade.

The research was led by Daniela Comelli, a professor of materials science at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy. Using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, the composition of the blade was shown to consist of iron, 10.8% nickel and 0.58% cobalt.

“The working of metal has played such a crucial role in the evolution of human civilization that historians conventionally divide ancient eras into ‘metal’ ages, taking into account the use of copper, bronze, and iron in sequence. However, it is clear that sharp breaks in these periods are conventional. In particular, the start of the iron age has long been discussed.” [source]

 

Scientists Confirm King Tut's 3300-year-Old Dagger Made from Meteorite (3)

 

Ever since the dagger’s discovery in 1925, its meteoric origin has been the subject of debate as it pre-dates the start of the Iron Age period which is generally believed to have taken place around 1200 BC.

According to the researchers these findings are significant because it “suggests that the ancient Egyptians, in the wake of other ancient people of the Mediterranean area, were aware that these rare chunks of iron fell from the sky already in the 13th C. BCE, anticipating Western culture by more than two millennia.”

You can learn more about the findings at the Wiley Online Library.

 

Scientists Confirm King Tut's 3300-year-Old Dagger Made from Meteorite (4)

 

 

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