King Tut owned a dagger that was out of this world—literally. Researchers have recently published a study in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science that supports what has long been suspected: The ancient Egyptians were using meteoritic iron well before the spread of iron smelting technology.
In 1925, famed archaeologist Howard Carter—who three years earlier had discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings—found in the pharaoh’s mummy wrapping two daggers: one with a blade of gold and one with a blade of iron. The iron-bladed dagger, finely made with a gold handle and pommel of rock crystal, has long been the subject of debate, as it predates the pervasiveness of iron smelting technology (the extraction of iron from its ore) in the Mediterranean by several centuries. King Tut—whose father Akhenaten established during his reign worship of a single god, the sun-disk Aten—ruled c. 1332–1323 B.C.E. in the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.
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Iron objects dating to the Bronze Age have been found sporadically throughout the Mediterranean, the oldest of which are nine small beads that were excavated from a 3200 B.C.E. tomb in Gerzeh, Egypt. While iron was sometimes obtained at this time as a byproduct of copper and bronze smelting, scholars assumed that during the Bronze Age, objects manufactured in ironworking were made from meteoritic iron.
The recent study on King Tut’s dagger, led by researchers from Italy and Egypt, used X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry to analyze the composition of the iron blade. Iron meteorites mostly contain iron and nickel, and the results of the XRF analysis on King Tut’s dagger confirm that the blade is mostly composed of iron and nickel. Its chemical composition, according to the researchers, “strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin.” The results are consistent with a 2013 study on the fourth-millennium B.C.E. iron beads from Gerzeh, which used scanning electron microscopy and micro X-ray microcomputer tomography and confirmed that the beads were composed of meteoritic iron.
The researchers of King Tut’s dagger point out that by the 13th century B.C.E., the ancient Egyptians had a hieroglyphic term for “iron of the sky,” and that a text from Karnak likely describes a meteorite. Just as we often look up at the sky in fascination, so too the ancient Egyptians must have regarded the sky—with its gifts sent to earth—with wonder.
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I love this subject… I would give anything to just sit with a profesor and listen to him for hours… so many questions.
Unbelievable this is something that we all should know this should all be put out for everyone to discover their history I love history and the things that I’ve been reading and seeing tells everything about how we were created where we came from and I’ll purpose.
That’s pretty simplistic, Keith. It sounds like you’re saying that mankind couldn’t have created farming until the Bronze or Iron Ages, when in fact we know that’s not true. Obviously hunter-gatherers couldn’t develop metal technology, you need a stable community for that. Even the Bible doesn’t bring metal in until Adam’s descendant Tu’bal-Cayin generations later.
Anyway, I’m surprised the Egyptians didn’t call it “iron from the gods”. But maybe they didn’t perceive the gods as living in the sky.
Very interesting. Has anybody collected all cases of working out meteoritic iron in ancient times?
Only the atheist and the anti-creationist will struggle with the idea that in order for Adam to have fulfilled his duty as the keeper of the garden off Eden, had to have been given an innate knowledge of the resources under his feet, and what is entails to dress and keep a garden, in order to provide himself with the necessary implements such as; Knives, Machetes, Pruning hooks, hoes, axes, etc., is a must in order to fulfill such a task as the arts and science of botany, and in maintaining the delicate balance of Flora and fauna of the garden, just as his survival depended on these implements for the garden that he was placed in; more so, they were surly needed in the second garden that he had to have started with his own sweet equity.