King Tutankhamun, the boy king of Egypt, was buried with a dagger made of iron from space, a new study by researchers from Milan Polytechnic, Pisa University and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, has found.
The knife, placed on the right thigh of the mummified body, originated from iron of meteoric origins, researcher confirmed.
The team used a non-invasive X-ray technique to confirm the composition of the iron without damaging it, according to the study published in the journal of Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
“Meteoritic iron is clearly indicated by the presence of a high percentage of nickel,” the study’s lead author Daniela Comelli told Discovery News.
The pharaoh’s dagger is composed of nearly 11 percent nickel – almost three times the amount found in artifacts produced from iron ore quarrying. It also has traces of cobalt consistent with that of iron meteorites.
Iron meteorites are mostly made of iron and nickel, with small quantities of cobalt, phosphorus, sulfur and carbon.
The team then went a step further to locate the source of the blade. “We took into consideration all meteorites found within an area of 2,000 kilometers in radius centered in the Red Sea, and we ended up with 20 iron meteorites,” Associate Professor Comelli explained.
The cobalt traces found in the iron dagger further confirmed the meteoric origin, Comelli said.
“The nickel and cobalt ratio in the dagger blade is consistent with that of iron meteorites that have preserved the primitive chondritic ratio during planetary differentiation in the early solar system,” she said.
The researchers took into consideration all the meteorites found within a 2,000 kilometre radius of the centre of the Red Sea, and narrowed it down to 20 iron meteorites.
“Only one, named Kharga, turned out to have nickel and cobalt contents which are possibly consistent with the composition of the blade,” Comelli said.
The study confirms ancient Egyptians placed high value on meteoritic iron while producing precious objects.Follow @gorkhapost
Finance Committee meeting deferred until 1 pm today
KATHMANDU— The meeting of the Finance Committee under the House of Representatives that was scheduled at 9 am today has been postponed until 1 pm.
The meeting was put off for lack of a quorum, said Chairperson of committee Krishna Prasad Dahal. Until 9:30 am, only nine members of the 25-member committee were present in the meeting.
Issues relating to capital expenditures and non-budgetary release of fund were scheduled for discussion in the meeting.Follow @gorkhapost