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Their Swords Came from Stars

Their Swords Came from Stars

Above: King Tutankhamun's meteoritic iron dagger and golden sheath.

Early in the history of civilization, bronze was king. The metal was malleable, strong, and most importantly had a low enough melting point to be easily reachable. The Iron Age and the smelting technology required to forge iron was still a long ways away. However, despite that limitation, certain iron artifacts have still been discovered that date back to the Bronze Age. Where did this metal come from? The answer is in the stars above.

That's right, the iron tools and weapons found from the Bronze Age were made with extraterrestrial metals: meteorites. When celestial bodies were first forming in the solar system, nickel was drawn to their centers. Earth was no exception to this, meaning it is quite rare to find large amounts of nickel on the surface. Terrestrial forged iron reflects this with very low nickel content. Meteorites, however, can contain metals from the cores of these planetoids. This makes them quite rich in rare nickel-iron alloys and easily identifiable as extraterrestrial.

In a study from the Journal of Archaeological Science, geologist Albert Jambon analyzed the composition of a variety of iron artifacts dated before 1200 BCE and incredibly he found they were all meteoritic in origin. The conclusion is obvious— most if not all of these early iron items were made with metals from the stars.

An incredible example of this can be seen in the Egyptian King Tutankhamun's iron dagger, a blade made from meteoritic metal.

Take a look at the full study right here!

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