The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, opened a new era in the study of ancient Egypt, but after nearly a century, the boy-pharaoh’s tomb remains a source of surprises for scientists. This time, the novelty is this: the iron blade of a dagger found near the mummy is extraterrestrial. More than 3,300 years before Christ, the tomb builders used material from a meteorite to honor his dead pharaoh, presenting him with an exquisite funeral object that literally came from space. The discovery was made by a group of Italian researchers and Egyptians, the Milan Polytechnic and Turin, the University of Pisa and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, who used a noninvasive technique spectrometry X-ray fluorescence to analyze the material. What occurred is that it has in its composition the high nickel content that exist only in meteorites, thus confirming the extraterrestrial origin of the blade material.
Found in 1925, three years after the tomb own discovery, the dagger whose handle is finely decorated and covered with gold, with inlaid crystal, and which is now deposited in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, called immediate attention of archaeologists. On one hand, iron was rarely used in ancient Egypt. On the other, its look was strangely homogeneous, and there was no sign of rust, as you would expect in an iron object that had been more than five millennia in the tomb with the pharaoh’s mummy.
For decades it has been speculated on the metal nature, placing a certain point the assumption of spatial origin. It has now been precisely confirmed in the study published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science by team coordinated by Daniela Cornelli, the Politecnico di Milano. The authors conclude that, given the rarity of the use of this material in ancient Egypt – beyond this, just another ceremonial artifact found in a tomb from the same period in Giza, is made of meteoritic material – “Ancient Egypt assigned a high value to iron meteorites for the production of ornamental or ceremonial objects of great refinement, until the 14th century BC, “they write in the article. “The high quality of manufacture of Tutankhamun dagger blade shows an early and successful ability to work the iron at that time [in the region],” the authors conclude.