A dagger found in the burial chamber of King Tutankhamun was made using iron from a meteorite, new research has discovered.
The dagger was first discovered in 1925 by Howard Carter and his team when they unearthed the tomb of the teenaged king, who was mummified more than 3,300 years ago.
A detailed analysis of the metal composition of the blade was carried out by researchers from Milan Polytechnic, Pisa University and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The dagger is one of two found in the tomb (Wiley Online Library)
Using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, the scientists found high levels of nickel and cobalt that “strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin”, according to the researchers.
The composition of the iron in the blade was examined alongside the chemical makeup of all the known meteorites found within a 2,000k radius centred in the Red Sea off the Egyptian coast.
The researchers even claim to have pinpointed the exact meteorite that the iron in the dagger came from.
The term ‘iron of the sky’ has previously been translated from historic descriptions of iron used in ancient Egypt.
This lends more weight to the researchers’ theory that the ancient Egyptians were aware of the ‘rare chunks of iron’ that fell from the sky in the firm of meteorites.
The research, published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
Image credit: Getty Images/Hannes Magerstaedt