Nearly 100 years after the opening of King Tut’s tomb, scientists continue to discover new knowledge about items found there. Through advanced, non-invasive engineering, researchers recently confirmed that the iron dagger found in King Tut’s tomb was forged from a meteorite.
Iron was rarely used in Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. In King Tut’s time, the iron that he wore and carried might have had more value than gold.
In case you’re not into Egyptology, let me remind you of a few facts:
Iron from a meteorite has distinct element signatures that enabled the researchers to confirm the iron came from outer space.
Shown above, researchers mapped the distribution of nickel, sulfur, and chlorine elements on one side of King Tut’s iron dagger using portable XRF spectroscopy.
Once researchers realized the method used to forge the dagger, the next question they had was where did the knife come from?
Some historic letters revealed the answer. It seems that King Tut’s grandfather received the knife as a gift from the family of his Mitanni bride.
So now you know the amazing story of a humble iron dagger. Read more at Arts Technica.
Image source: Dagger image by T. Matsui, 2022. King Tut’s mask image by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images