New research uses XRF technology to examine King Tut's dagger.
An iron dagger found in the sarcophagus of Egypt’s famous King Tutankhamun back in 1922 has been the subject of some new research lately, and the findings show the metal in the dagger was not from this world, according to a Washington Post article. Now the question is how did the metal get transformed into an ornate dagger fit for the youthful king, who died at the age of 19 in the 14th century B.C?
The quandary exists because conventional science says that iron smithing wasn’t happening at the time of the young king’s death, at least at the high quality of metal contained in the dagger.
Nevertheless, the researchers believe the Egyptians may have mastered the process much earlier. The study team wrote, “In this context, the high manufacturing quality of Tutankhamun’s dagger blade is evidence of early successful iron smithing in the 14th C. BCE.”
The report continues to say the ancient Egyptians began to describe iron about 100 years after the death of King Tut, as “iron of the sky,” leading most to surmise the materials were refined from meteorites that struck the Earth.
“Beyond the Mediterranean area, the fall of meteorites was perceived as a divine message in other ancient cultures,” said the research team. “It is generally accepted that other civilizations around the world, including the Inuit people; the ancient civilizations in Tibet, Syria and Mesopotamia; and the prehistoric Hopewell people living in eastern North America from 400 BCE to 400 CE, used meteoritic iron for the production of small tools and ceremonial objects.”
So it is no wonder that ancient peoples, who attached a significance to objects falling from the sky, would seek out the fallen rocks whenever they were able. And it is also likely they would place a high value on any metals found near the impact site.
Intriguingly, also found in the kings’ tomb was some glass attached to a jewel that an Austrian astrochemist discovered in 2006 that was likely formed by heat generated from a meteorite strike.
The most likely scenario is the ancients developed ways of sculpting metals from located meteorites into precious objects, but what if some of the objects were left behind as parting gifts by ancient space visitors? Certainly, no evidence has been found to even suggest that could have happened. Yet.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science.