King Tut's dagger blade made from meteorite, study says

Posted June 6

Mummies in space? Not quite, but new research suggests they are somewhat linked.

A study conducted by Italian and Egyptian scientists used a non-invasive, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to figure out the composition of King Tutankhamun’s iron blade. The results concluded the blade was made with iron not found on earth.

The golden dagger has high levels of nickel, cobalt and phosphorous which match the chemical composition of a meteorite named Kharga, located in Mersa Matruh, Egypt, in 2000.

The study was shared in Meteoritics and Planetary Science Journal and was conducted by the physics department at Politecnico of Milan, the Department of Science at Politecnico of Torino, the Department of Science at University of Pisa, and the Restoration Department at Fayoum University.

According to the study, "ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects. The high manufacturing quality of Tutankhamun's dagger blade suggests a significant mastery of ironworking in Tutankhamun's time."

The weapon is currently on display in Cairo, Egypt, at the Egyptian Museum.

King Tut ruled Egypt from 1332 to 1322 B.C. His tomb was uncovered by English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. The 13-inch dagger was found beside the right thigh of the pharaoh’s sarcophagus.


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