A century later, the figure of Tutankhamun still remains full of mysteries. One of this is the nature of his dagger, one of the many treasures of the funeral, which has a total of over 5,000 finds. The question that archaeologists have asked themselves to date concerns the material of which it is composed: the eye is attracted by the handle and the golden hilt, but the protagonist is iron. According to the hypotheses of archaeologists, at the time of Tutankhamun, iron was a more valuable material than gold, and indicated a very high social status.
In fact, there is no archaeological evidence of iron smelting in Egypt prior to the 6th century BC, and the earliest known example of the use of metallic iron dates back to 3400 BC. approximately, therefore before the unification and the era of the pharaohs, which begins around 3,000 BC.
The ancient Egyptians knew this and, after all, they had told us. A papyrus tells of an "iron rained down from heaven". But the mystery of the origin of one of the two daggers found together with the mummy of the child pharaoh, Tutankhamun, has divided scholars since the sarcophagus kept in the Valley of the Kings was opened in 1925. an Italian-Egyptian research, also born after the discovery of a crater. Among the many mysteries and superstitions linked to the pharaoh, starting with the curse that would have struck those who profaned his tomb, at least one unknown factor has been solved. With X-ray fluorescence, scientists have removed all doubts: the iron from the blade of that dagger comes from space.
The dagger, about 35 centimeters long and not at all rusty, was slipped between the mummy's bandages, to prepare for the encounter with the afterlife: suffice it to say how precious it was.
There were scholars who already claimed it was a meteorite, while others thought it had been imported: in Anatolia in the fourteenth century BC. C., when Tutankhamun lived, the iron was already there. "Incredibly, however, so far no one had done any analysis."
But how did it come to be an alien metal? From the composition: iron in fact contains 10% nickel and 0.6 cobalt: «These are the typical concentrations of meteorites. an alloy, in these concentrations, is impossible ». The instrumentation used on the exhibit in Egypt was not invasive, the X-ray fluorescence, then the data and results were analyzed in Italy. The bilateral project, which began in these days, would perhaps no longer be possible in today's Egypt.
The meteorite that generated the crater was of ferrous origin, and crashed to the ground about 5,000 years ago, destroying itself in many fragments. From those pieces the iron would have been extracted to make the blade of the Pharaoh's dagger, an object not of practical but ornamental use.
In the 1970s and 1990s, researchers toyed with the idea that the blade might have come from a meteorite, but their results were inconclusive. However, last year, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers used a new technology called X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to take another look.
Their results? The blade's composition of iron, nickel and cobalt "strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin".
A meteorite found in the port city of Marsa Matruh, which is 150 miles west of Alexandria, had a similar composition to the dagger, thus giving credit to the scientists' discovery.


If one day, watching TV, they interrupt the programs to inform you that a comet is coming on earth what would you do? Would you believe who discovered this comet? Would you doubt? Would you go to the one you love to save them? By now it happens more and more often to read news about dangerous comets or meteorites. What attention do you give to such news? Do they shake you or do you remain impassive?
Have you ever known something important and tried to tell someone and not be believed? Sometimes certain things seem so strange and impossible to be true yet by the time you realize they are true it will be too late.

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