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King Tut's 'Meteorite' Dagger: Where Is It Really From?

Travelers Today       By    Joseph Peter Capaque

Updated: Jun 03, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

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king tut, King Tutankhamun, tutankhamun, Tutanchamun, dagger
'Tutankhamun And The Golden Age Of The Pharaohs' Exhibit Opening
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15: Ceremonial Dagger and Sheath are on display during the 'Tutankhamun And The Golden Age Of The Pharaohs' Exhibit Opening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on June 15, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

One of the daggers found wrapped on King Tutankhamun's body is made of meteorite iron.

There were two daggers found surrounding the king's body when it was unearthed in 1925.  One is made of gold (in picture) while the other one (not in picture) is made of a rare "extraterrestrial" iron only found in meteorites, according to researchers.

A team of researchers led by Polytechnic University of Milan's Daniela Comelli examined the iron artifact using X-ray fluorescence, and found out that it has a composition that is the same as iron found in meteorites.

According to their research findings published on a Meteoritics & Planetary Science journal, the meteorite iron dagger blade shows the mastery of ironworking during Tutankhamun's rule. Ancient Egyptians are known to value meteoritic iron for use in ironworking because of its high quality. High quality ironworking skills plus rare iron make the dagger a precious artifact.

For years, archaeologists have been curious if the iron dagger is really "extraterrestrial". There were lack of studies to prove once and for all that it is.

Ancient Egyptians found meteorite iron hard to work with and reserve it for traditional royal tools and items. "We suggest that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of fine ornamental or ceremonial objects," the research finding said.

Ancient Egyptians thought of meteorite iron as "iron of the sky". This means that they were pretty much knowledgeable that there are things that would come from outer space as early as 1300 C. BCE.

"So they are obviously recognising things that are coming to Earth and imagining that these are the gifts of the gods," Joyce Tyldesley, University of Manchester senior lecturer of Egyptology, told Al jazeera.

Both gold and iron daggers are have gold sheath and handle, and are placed on Tutankhamun's thigh.

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