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Still Waters

King Tut's Blade Made of Meteorite

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Still Waters

King Tut was buried with a dagger made of an iron that literally came from space, says a new study into the composition of the iron blade from the sarcophagus of the boy king.

Using non-invasive, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers confirmed that the iron of the dagger placed on the right thigh of King Tut's mummified body a has meteoric origin.

http://www.seeker.com/king-tuts-space-blade-identified-1831900657.html

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Careful_perspective

I suppose it was for show purposes only? I assume a blade like that would be really fragile and almost unusable as an actual weapon. 

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Gingitsune

Oh! Not only do they know it's from a meteorite, but they even pinpoint which meteorite. I hope they'll try on some other ancient artifacts.

 

Quote

"We took into consideration all meteorites found within an area of 2,000 km in radius centered in the Red Sea, and we ended up with 20 iron meteorites," Comelli said.

"Only one, named Kharga, turned out to have nickel and cobalt contents which are possibly consistent with the composition of the blade," she added.

The meteorite fragment was found in 2000 on a limestone plateau at Mersa Matruh, a seaport some 150 miles west of Alexandria.

 

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The Truman show
14 hours ago, Rinna said:

I suppose it was for show purposes only? I assume a blade like that would be really fragile and almost unusable as an actual weapon. 

Maybe the blade held more spiritual value than practical to Tut since it came from the heavens. 

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sonofkrypton
26 minutes ago, Leto_loves_melange said:

Maybe the blade held more spiritual value than practical to Tut since it came from the heavens. 

were the Egyptians in to all that?

 

HAHA Kidding! this is right up their street! a god carrying a knife that is literally made from something that fell from the Heavens!

 

they must have a field day with this!

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Thorvir

This is cool.

I have always wanted a space sword (Avatar: the Last Airbender reference).

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bob65712

King Tut was born around 1341 BC. that is over 1,000 years before the Iron age. How does he have a weapon made from iron?

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Dark_Grey

A deformed kid with a space knife ruling the greatest civilization in the ancient world. He was something special, this King Tut.

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Knowledgeispower

Copper was rarer, but it had one key advantage: With a 2,000 degree Fahrenheit melting point, it was easier to pull out of its rocky ore form. Iron, on the other hand, would require an oven of about 2,800 degrees. This was far beyond blacksmith technology around the dawn of the Bronze Age, when these artifacts were made. A well advanced molding system also comes to play, also a even stronger metal to handle the heated Iron. King Tut at lvl 19 wielding the meteor shower blade, is just awesome!

Edited by Knowledgeispower
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Leonardo
1 hour ago, bob65712 said:

King Tut was born around 1341 BC. that is over 1,000 years before the Iron age. How does he have a weapon made from iron?

The Iron Age is named because it was in that era that humans began to smelt iron and forge weapons and tools from it. However, items made of iron, although rare, did exist before this era. Like Tut's dagger, they were "cold-forged" (i.e. beaten into shape, not smelted and forged) from sources of relatively pure "ore" - such as meteorites.

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BeastieRunner

Starfang is real!

But that is a cool find.

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jarjarbinks

I'd love to have it for a couple of minutes just to cut myself. Would be the first blood drawn by this blade in a thousand years. Nothing too serious, minor cut only.

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Merc14

Ages that different metals were used in Egypt http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/trades/metals.htm

It would be interesting to read more about how this bade was created.  Was it cold hammered as Leonardo assumes or was some forging involved?  I am guessing the blade was heated before hammering, as the Egyptians were adept smiths by this time, but who knows without further testing.

Edited by Merc14

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switchopens

Anyone else watch DC's Legends of Tomorrow?

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EllJay

 

I can recommend, for those interested in Tut Ankh-Amon, to watch the mini-series Tut

 

 

 

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Harry_Bow

So "Gods" from space came to Earth and helped the Egyptians build pyramids. Not only did they do that but they also gave them daggers and swords made out of meteorites. Ancient Egyptians, Aliens and Space are linked like a spider's web.

Edited by Beacon_Field
My whole post didn't show up.

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Leonardo
9 hours ago, Merc14 said:

Ages that different metals were used in Egypt http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/trades/metals.htm

It would be interesting to read more about how this bade was created.  Was it cold hammered as Leonardo assumes or was some forging involved?  I am guessing the blade was heated before hammering, as the Egyptians were adept smiths by this time, but who knows without further testing.

Just to clarify, the method of "cold-forging" I refer to just means the metal was not melted and forged via being set in a mold. It's likely heat was applied to the meteoric ore to soften it though, before it was hammered into shape. So, the "cold" is only relative.

Items created through cold-forging would likely be much brittler than smelted copper weapons and tools, as the impurities in the metal would not be removed via smelting. So, Tut's meteoric iron dagger was likely ceremonial rather than practical.

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EllJay

Z6GjVNu.jpg

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kmt_sesh
On June 1, 2016 at 11:13 AM, Leonardo said:

The Iron Age is named because it was in that era that humans began to smelt iron and forge weapons and tools from it. However, items made of iron, although rare, did exist before this era. Like Tut's dagger, they were "cold-forged" (i.e. beaten into shape, not smelted and forged) from sources of relatively pure "ore" - such as meteorites.

In clearing the tomb Howard Carter found a receipt from Amazon. Tut ordered the dagger from there, along with a copy of Mummies for Dummies as a gift for the royal embalmers.

So maybe I made that up. But you're right about meteoric objects—beads and such fashioned from meteoric iron date in very limited quantities all the way back to the late Predynastic. It was definitely considered a luxury item. More spectacular to look at is the solid-gold dagger which was wrapped within Tut's bandages. It has cloisonné work on the handle. This was not a common technique among Egyptian craftsmen so it's believed that this dagger might have been a gift from a foreign potentate. I've seen it in person. I can't recall but perhaps the meteoric dagger was a gift, too.

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Merc14

kmt_sesh, wouldn't a weapon made of iron be profoundly interesting to the warrior class?  Wouldn't they aggressively chase that technology?

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EllJay

I wonder if it could be some early version forged out of Wootz Steel. The Wootz Steel later on (several hundred years later) became the famous Damascus Steel. I'm not sure about the timeline though. How far before A.D did Tut live? A 1000 years?

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kmt_sesh
1 hour ago, Merc14 said:

kmt_sesh, wouldn't a weapon made of iron be profoundly interesting to the warrior class?  Wouldn't they aggressively chase that technology?

That's an excellent question. I don't know whether ancient Near Easterners of Tut's time (or earlier) fully realized the military potential for iron. Even if they did, meteoric iron was the only form available, and you can imagine how scarce it was. Egypt in Tut's time was a superpower and was doing quite fine for itself (after rebounding from the Amarna interlude), so as with other kingdoms of the time, well-made bronze weapons were sufficient. As it is, the first true Iron Age military did not emerge until the Neo-Assyrian empire, and they ended up rolling over everyone, Egypt included.

1 hour ago, EllJay said:

I wonder if it could be some early version forged out of Wootz Steel. The Wootz Steel later on (several hundred years later) became the famous Damascus Steel. I'm not sure about the timeline though. How far before A.D did Tut live? A 1000 years?

Tut lived around 1340 BCE, the Late Bronze Age. We mark the onset of the Iron Age in the Near East at around 1200 to 1100 BCE, depending on the specific area in question. Even then iron was not widely used, and some time would pass before iron regularly entered the armament of militaries of that time. Even today you will come across mention of the Hittites being an Iron Age military, and for a long stretch they were Egypt's main rival (down to the time of Ramesses II, around 1212 BCE). But that's patently false and reflects outdated research. The Hittites were as Bronze Age as the Egyptians were. As I mentioned to Merc above, iron was not an integral part of any military until the Neo-Assyrian empire.

So people in Tut's time were close to the Iron Age but not yet there, and steel was out of the question. As it turned out, even after other peoples of the Near East entered the Iron Age, Egypt did not. It lacked the resources to produce its own iron, and by then no longer ruled an empire where they could help themselves freely to other people's resources. Egypt remained in the Bronze Age, much to their detriment when encountering Iron Age armies like the Assyrians and later the Persians.

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The Truman show
On 2 June 2016 at 8:14 AM, jarjarbinks said:

I'd love to have it for a couple of minutes just to cut myself. Would be the first blood drawn by this blade in a thousand years. Nothing too serious, minor cut only.

...i wonder if the knife would have to be sharpened after 3000 plus years. 

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EllJay
51 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

So people in Tut's time were close to the Iron Age but not yet there, and steel was out of the question. As it turned out, even after other peoples of the Near East entered the Iron Age, Egypt did not. It lacked the resources to produce its own iron, and by then no longer ruled an empire where they could help themselves freely to other people's resources. Egypt remained in the Bronze Age, much to their detriment when encountering Iron Age armies like the Assyrians and later the Persians.

Well, according to this they exported steel for weapons to Egypt

Quote

The Wootz steel originated in South India. There are several ancient Tamil, Greek, Chinese and Roman literary references to high carbon Indian steel. /..../ the Tamils of the Chera Dynasty produced what was termed the finest steel in the world, i.e. Seric Iron, to the Romans, Egyptians, Chinese and Arabs

..so the Egyptians got their steel via import. But it doesn't add up time-wise though. This was after 1300 BC

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