King Tut’s Dagger made from Meteorite

In 1925, English archaeologist Howard Carter found two daggers in King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus that he had discovered. One was gold but the other was more rare, in the Bronze Age, an iron dagger.

The dagger has a decorated gold handle ending in a round crystal knob, encased in an ornate gold sheath decorated in a pattern of feathers, lilies and the head of a jackal. The earliest references to iron smelting in the Nile Valley date to much later, during the first millennium B.C.

Recently, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers took advantage of new technology—specifically a technique called portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The findings, published in the journal Meteorites and Planetary Science,

found the blade’s composition of iron, nickel and cobalt “strongly suggesting an extraterrestrial origin.” This makes it nearly identical to the composition of a meteor found in the seaport city of Marsa Matruh, 150 miles west of Alexandria.

When a piece of debris, from a comet, asteroid or meteoroid, originating in outer space and successfully makes it through the atmosphere to reach the Earth’s surface it is referred to as a meteorite. As it enters our atmosphere, it forms a fireball, a shooting star, is then called a meteor. If it doesn’t burn up and impacts the surface of the planet then it is called a meteorite. They have three broad categories; 1) stony, 2) iron, and 3) stony-iron.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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