King Tut's dagger may have come from outside Egypt
February 22, 2022 | 3 comments
King Tut's tomb was a literal treasure trove. Image Credit: Jon Bodsworth
A 4,300-year-old dagger found in the boy king's tomb may have originated from a different country entirely.
When the archaeologists who first explored King Tutankhamun's tomb in the 1900s discovered a dagger with an iron blade among the valuables, they were particularly intrigued because it dated back to a time before the means with which to smelt iron had been invented.
The explanation, they decided, was that its creators must have used materials recovered from a meteorite.
In more recent times, scientists have been able to confirm that this was indeed the case - with an analysis of the blade indicating that it was likely made from a class of iron, manganese and nickel-rich meteorite known as an octahedrite.
Such an analysis was unable to determine where the meteorite might have originally landed, however.
To determine this, researchers instead turned to an inscription on the 3,400-year-old Amarna Letters tablets which described how the dagger had been given to King Tut's grandfather by the King of Mitanni.
This meant that the dagger - long assumed to be a treasure created by the ancient Egyptians - may have actually originated in what is now modern day Syria.
| Comments (3)