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
NAC aims to bring more tourists
KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.
The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.
The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.
The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.
For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.
With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.
After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.
South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.
Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.
“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.
Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.Follow @gorkhapost