The mummy of King Tutankhamen, widely known as King Tut, was carefully unwrapped and certain surprising treasures were discovered.
A dagger made from an unusual metal was discovered carefully wrapped in King Tut’s tomb.
With help from X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, experts from Italy and Egypt revealed the dagger was composed of iron, nickel and cobalt – an approximate match for a meteorite that landed in northern Egypt hundreds of years ago.
The researchers were fascinated and wrote an entire article titled “The meteoritic origin of Tutankhamun’s iron dagger blade” published in the Wiley Online Library.
Smelting iron was not easy in the days of King Tut, prompting much debate among specialists. Interestingly, the study revealed ancient Egyptians turned to meteoritic iron to produce precious objects and King Tut’s dagger had a “high manufacturing quality,” indicating there was “a significant mastery of ironworking in Tutankhamun’s time.”
Scientists have known about the dagger since 1925 but remained a source of debate for nearly a century.
Earlier studies were unable to determine whether the blade was created with earthly or extraterrestrial materials but now they know.
The discovery seems insignificant but to the archeological and historical communities, the use of meteorites to produce iron weapons and items is important.
The information helps researchers as they carefully piece together the puzzle of the past and enables them to better understand the inner workings of a long-gone society.