RESEARCHERS have finally solved the mystery surrounding a dagger belonging to King Tutankhamun 3,400 years ago.
A new analysis of the weapon discovered in the pharaoh’s tomb in 1922 shows it was forged from a meteorite outside Egypt.
This discovery reinforces a previous theory that the decorative shiv was gifted to King Tut’s grandfather from abroad.
The origin of the artifact and how it was manufactured remains one of the great mysteries surrounding Tut’s grave objects.
What’s unusual is that it’s made of a metal that the Egyptians won’t start smelting for another 500 years: Iron.
In 2016, scientists determined that the chemical makeup of the 13-inch blade indicates it was expertly crafted from an iron meteorite.
Now, an analysis from a research team at the Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan has revealed that the object was likely created outside of Egypt.
The researchers described their investigation earlier this month in the journal Astronomy & Planetary Science.
They performed an X-ray analysis of the dagger, which is housed in Egypt’s Cairo Museum.
The results show that its golden hilt appears to have been crafted with a binding material known as lime mortar.
Lime plaster was not used in Egypt until much later but was used by craftsmen in other parts of the world at the time.
Analyzes indicated that the artifact made with the low-temperature technique was heated to less than 950C (1,742F).
This, the researchers say, “suggests its extraneous origin, possibly from Mitanni, Anatolia”.
That is consistent with ancient Egyptian records that an iron dagger with a golden hilt was a gift from King Mitanni to Amenhotep III, Tutankhamen’s grandfather.
It is possible that the Boy King inherited the dagger since it was passed down in the family.
Who is King Tutankhamun?
King Tutankhamun was the most famous of the ancient pharaohs of Egypt.
He ruled Egypt over 3,000 years ago, from 1332 to 1323 BC.
Tut was known as the “young king” when he was 10 years old when he ascended the throne.
When he became king, he married his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten. They had two daughters together, but both were stillborn.
Tut died at the age of 19 under mysterious circumstances.
Some believe that King Tut was assassinated but most believe his death was an accident.
The pharaoh is also famous for the curse that is said to haunt his tomb.
After the discovery of the tomb in 1922, archaeologists and even members of their families died of terrible diseases or strange accidents – and some say the Death is not a coincidence.
The artifact dates back to the 14th century BC and was found in the wrap around the right thigh of King Tut’s mummy.
It has a gold handle decorated with a round knob of rock crystal.
It was encased in a golden shell decorated with a pattern of lilies, feathers, and the head of a jackal.
Another distinct golden sword was found under King Tut’s turban.
Iron objects are rare and considered more valuable than gold in the Bronze Age and are mainly decorative.
This may be because the Egyptians found iron difficult to work because the metal required very high heat to forge.
Tutankhamun, a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, ruled Egypt from 1332 to 1323 BC
He’s most famous for his age – experts believe he was just 9 years old when he took the reins of the world’s most powerful empire.
His death at the age of 19 has puzzled experts for decades. Some believe he died from a broken leg or other accident, while others suspect he was assassinated.
Tut’s tomb was famously excavated by British archaeologist Howard Carter in the Eastern Valley of the Kings near Cario in 1922.
The unusual find is that the site has never been visited by looters, leaving the lavish treasures inside undisturbed for 3,300 years.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8404572/mystery-tutankhamuns-space-dagger-meteorite-solved/ The mystery surrounding Tutankhamun’s ‘space dagger’ made of metal from a METEORITE is finally solved