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Ancient Egyptian jewellery came from space

Posted on Tuesday, 20 August, 2013 | Comment icon 17 comments

Image credit: CC 3.0 Jurii

A set of ancient funeral beads discovered in Egypt are made from materials found in a meteorite.

The ancient Egyptians were no stranger to cosmology and now it turns out that even some of their jewellery was created out of materials from space. Archaeologists studying a set of nine iron funeral beads discovered in a 5000-year-old cemetery in 1911 believe that the beads themselves are made using metal recovered from a meteorite that crashed on to our planet in 3200BC.

The discovery indicates that the ancient Egyptians were capable of far more advanced metalworking techniques than was previously thought. "The results confirm that already in the fourth millennium BC metalworkers had mastered the smithing of meteoritic iron, an iron–nickel alloy much harder and more brittle than the more commonly worked copper," the study team wrote.

"A set of funeral beads which could be the oldest iron artefacts on earth actually came from outer space, archaeologists have claimed."

  View: Full article |  Source: IB Times

  Discuss: View comments (17)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by DieChecker on 20 August, 2013, 23:51
It is a funny title. Very cool article. BEADS..... FROM..... SPACE!!!!!..............
Comment icon #9 Posted by dibatag on 21 August, 2013, 2:03
The holy grail is not a cup
Comment icon #10 Posted by brainiac on 21 August, 2013, 3:35
Could be a thousand of years ago Egypt is a site of a big meteor impact.
Comment icon #11 Posted by brlesq1 on 23 August, 2013, 10:31
Pretty cool--especially the part about the Egyptians having iron smithing abilities earlier than thought.
Comment icon #12 Posted by nohands on 26 August, 2013, 10:32
is there any metal available for them to use ? as a tool to shape those?
Comment icon #13 Posted by ash68 on 29 August, 2013, 13:18
I guess if they knew it was from space it would've been considered the most valuable and magical metal known to man at the time
Comment icon #14 Posted by DieChecker on 1 September, 2013, 20:11
Isn't it supposedly easier to find meteroites in the sands of the Arab Peninsula and the Sahara, since they stand out against the sand? Same thing with meterites in Greenland and Antarctica, supposedly they are easier to find there because they stand out.
Comment icon #15 Posted by cacoseraph on 2 September, 2013, 22:19
Well, that's a bit of an interesting question. I am not a professional metallurgist or anything, but I do find it pretty interesting. The thing the article and the abstract of the paper (couldn't get the actual paper, it costs $) seem to think could be quite exciting is that these beads ARE shaped and that might imply they smelted and hot forged the meteorites into sheets that they rolled. This would have introduced the Egyptians to an Iron Age way sooner than is known. The Egyptians were pretty much Copper Age and could make hot forged copper tools of pretty decent complex... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Talion on 25 September, 2013, 12:45
"The fall of meteorites has been interpreted as divine messages by multitudinous cultures since prehistoric times, and meteorites are still adored as heavenly bodies. Stony meteorites were used to carve birds and other works of art; jewelry and knifes were produced of meteoritic iron for instance by the Inuit society. We here present a ~10.6 kg Buddhist sculpture (the ‘iron man’) made of an iron meteorite, which represents a particularity in religious art and meteorite science. The specific contents of the crucial main (Fe, Ni, Co) and trace (Cr, Ga, Ge) elements, indicate an ataxitic iro... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 26 September, 2013, 7:29
Nowhere did i say it was a coffee mug or anything else . Whatever it is ,it has a moldavite embedded in it

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