King Tut's Dagger Was Other-Worldly

Eric Sentell
King Tutankhamun’s Iron DaggerSyfy Wire

Why is King Tut famous?

His tomb was never robbed by thieves, archeologists, or Brendan Fraser's character Rick O'Connell from The Mummy.

King Tut's untouched tomb contained gold, jewels, and artifacts that we had never before seen in a the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh.

One of the most interesting finds, however, might appear unremarkable at first glance.

King Tutankhamun was buried with a dagger made of iron long before daggers were made of iron.

King Tut ruled in the "Bronze Age" in the 1300s B.C.E., well before iron smelting and forging became common in the "Iron Age" starting about 1200 B.C.E.

The presence of the iron dagger, therefore, raises the question, "Where did they get the iron?"

The iron in Tut's dagger also contains a unique pattern at the molecular level. The intersecting lines of iron-nickel alloy are called a Widmanstätten pattern, and they appear only in a certain type of iron meteorite called an octahedrite.

Whoever made the iron dagger obtained the metal from a fallen meteorite.

We didn't know about the Widmanstätten pattern in the blade until Tomoko Arai of the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan examined x-rays of the dagger to get a closer look at its molecular structure.

While Arai proved that the dagger's iron came from outer space, neither Arai nor archeologists know who forged the iron into a dagger or how the dagger came to be in King Tut's tomb.

The plaster used to hold together the dagger's gold handle differs from the type of plaster used in Egypt around the time of Tut's reign and death.

The records on some ancient stone tablets suggest that the dagger could have been a wedding present to Tut's grandfather from a foreign kingdom. Then it was passed down until being buried with him.

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