One of the most mysterious but at the same time the most fascinating figures in the history of ancient Egypt, Pharaoh Tutankhamun, also known as the “child pharaoh”, ruled the African country of North between 1332 and 1323 BC and was buried in his pyramid until his tomb was discovered and analyzed in 1922. Among the various precious ornaments found inside the historic Pharaoh’s tomb are found a very special dagger.
Yes, because inside Tutankhamun’s tomb was found an ornamental dagger whose preciousness was tested by X-rays when some researchers from an Italian and Egyptian team analyzed the material with which it was made. Researchers have shown that the dagger is made of iron, nickel, and cobalt; this unique elemental composition indicates that the weapon was made from one of the oldest objects in the solar system: an iron meteorite .
The technique used to analyze the slide is known as X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, which energetically “excites” the different compounds of the target object. The radiation emitted by the target varies in wavelength depending on the elements present, allowing researchers to identify its elemental composition without damaging it in any way.
After subjecting the blade to X-ray analysis, it became clear that the composition of the dagger was that of an iron meteorite. Knowing that the dagger must have been forged from a meteorite that was part of the kingdoms of the empire, researchers examined historical records of meteor impacts in the affected geographic area within a radius of about 2,000 kilometers.
After finding documentation of about twenty iron meteorites, the researchers used the precise composition of the dagger to reduce it to a single copy: the Kharga meteorite, found in 2000 on a limestone plateau in Mersa Matruh, a seaport west of the city of Alexandria. It is therefore very likely that the Egyptians must have seen it fall from the sky and break into several pieces, before traveling hundreds of kilometers to retrieve one of these celestial fragments. To date, some 3,500 years later, science has successfully traced the origin of the dagger of the great Egyptian pharaoh.
An astonishing scientific discovery that shed light on the hidden history of one of the most fascinating daggers in the history of ancient Egypt.