Science confirms: Tutankhamun interest is made of meteorite
Thanks to an advanced and non-invasive method, it has been confirmed what has long been assumed – that the famous dagger of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun was made of a meteorite.
Tutankhamun came to the throne at a very young age and is better known for the objects found in his tomb than for his reign. Thanks to a new non-invasive method, scientists have discovered that its famous golden handle dagger with a gold handle was actually made from a meteorite using a relatively rare forging technique.
Historical records say that Tutankhamun was the last ruler of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, and his tomb was found almost a century ago. It contained more than 5,000 artifacts that are still being studied and analyzed to determine their origins and to discover how they ended up with him.
Compared to the sarcophagus, the burial mask made of gold, the throne and pieces of furniture, paths and other artifacts found in the tomb, the iron dagger may seem insignificant, but it is one of the few things made of iron.
Archaeologists believe that at that time iron was a symbol of high status in society. From the data available so far, we know that iron smelting was not very common in the region, and the work with metal iron dates back several hundred years before the pharaohs became rulers of the united state. The Iron Age is believed to have begun around 1,200 BC, a century after Tutankhamun died.
X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy was used to study the composition of the material, and a large presence of nickel in the main component of iron was detected. While traces of nickel in the earth’s iron do not exceed 4%, the 11% nickel interest rate indicates an extraterrestrial origin of the starting material, indicating that it is probably a meteorite.
In addition to traces of nickel and cobalt, traces of sulfur, chlorine, calcium and zinc in the form of blackened spots were found on the blade. The distribution of these trace elements corresponds to Wildmanstetten’s model, which is regularly seen in iron meteorites. Therefore, scientists have confirmed that it is a meteorite by comparing samples of interest with samples of meteorites from Japan.
Scientists believe the interest was minted at a relatively low temperature of 950 degrees.
It is also confirmed that the interest previously belonged to Tutankhamun’s grandfather, Amenhotep III, who received it as a wedding gift from King Mitanni. The gemstones were fixed with lime mortar used in the kingdom of Mitanna, while the Egyptians used gypsum mortar.