Ancient Egyptians space jewelry?

eye-horus

Iron in Egyptian relics came from space

The ancient Egyptians wore jewelry made from space rock, and meteors raining from the sky may have shaped their ideas of the gods, according to new analysis of a 5,000-year-old iron bead.

Meteorite impacts thousands of years ago may have helped to inspire ancient religion.

The 5,000-year-old iron bead might not look like much, but it hides a spectacular past: researchers have found that an ancient Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite.

The result, published on 20 May in Meteoritics & Planetary Science, explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion.

“The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” says Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

The iron in the 2-centimeter-long tube-like bauble — found at a burial site near Cairo — couldn’t have come from accidental smelting. The tube-shaped bead is one of nine found in 1911 in a cemetery at Gerzeh, around 70 kilometres south of Cairo. The cache dates from about 3,300 bc, making the beads the oldest known iron artefacts from Egypt.

Bead2cropped
The Gerzeh bead (top) has nickel-rich areas, coloured blue on a virtual model (bottom), that indicate a meteoritic origin. Open Univ./Univ. Manchester

A study in 1928 found that the iron in the beads had a high nickel content — a signature of iron meteorites — and led to the suggestion that it was of celestial Desch, C. H. Reports on the metallurgical examination of specimens for the Sumerian Committee of the British Association.

Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1928).

But scholars argued in the 1980s that accidental early smelting could have led to nickel-enriched Piaskowski, in Early Technology (eds Wertime, T. A. & Wertime S. F.) 237–423 (Smithsonian Inst., 1982), and a more recent analysis of oxidized material on the surface of the beads showed low nickel El-Gayer, E. S. Inst. Archaeo-metall. Stud. 19, 11–12 (1995).

To settle the argument, Diane Johnson, a meteorite scientist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK, and her colleagues used scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography to analyse one of the beads, which they borrowed from the Manchester Museum.

The researchers were not able to cut the precious artefact open, but they found areas where the weathered surface had fallen away, providing what Johnson describes as “little windows” to the preserved metal beneath.

Microscopy showed that the nickel content of this original metal was high — as much as 30% — suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Backing up this result, the team observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming.

Using tomography, the researchers built up a three-dimensional model of the bead’s internal structure, revealing that the ancient Egyptians had made it by hammering a fragment of iron from the meteorite into a thin plate, then bending it into a tube.

Gifts from the gods

The first evidence for iron smelting in ancient Egypt appears in the archaeological record in the sixth century bc. Only a handful of iron artefacts have been discovered in the region from before then: all come from high-status graves such as that of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. “Iron was very strongly associated with royalty and power,” says Johnson.

Objects made of such divine material were believed to guarantee their deceased owner priority passage into the afterlife.

Campbell Price, a curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum who was not a member of the study team, emphasizes that nothing is known for certain about the Egyptians’ religious beliefs before the advent of writing. But he points out that later on, during the time of the pharaohs, the gods were believed to have bones made of iron.

He speculates that meteorites may have inspired this belief, the celestial rocks being interpreted as the physical remains of gods falling to Earth.

Johnson says that she would love to check whether other early Egyptian iron artefacts are of meteoritic origin — if she can get permission to study them.

Source

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

How apps will soon run our lives

The home of the future... It's here! How apps will soon run our lives by remote control Every year, the world of technology comes up...

The Solar System You Know Was Wrong!

Our Model Of The Solar System Has Been Wrong This Entire Time! If you walk into any classroom today, and likely ever since you were...

What you need to know about Nibiru – Planet X

Zecharia Sitchin described Nibiru according to Sumerian cosmology as the 12th planet. Nibiru is home to an alien race called the Anunnaki an extreme...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

Ancient Paintings of UFO’s from 200 to 15.000 years ago

Ancient Paintings of UFO's Over the past 15,000 years UFOs have been clearly depicted in paintings from all around the world. This video features some...

Out of the Blue

OUT OF THE BLUE is widely considered one of the best documentary films ever made about UFOs and was directed by celebrated filmmakers James...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

How apps will soon run our lives

The home of the future... It's here! How apps will soon run our lives by remote control Every year, the world of technology comes up...

Smoking marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol – study

We have been led to believe that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug that destroys lives and is a far greater risk than...

Quantum Computers – A Supercomputer That Can Correct Itself

Quantum PCs must defeat the test of distinguishing and amending quantum errors, before they can satisfy their guarantee of filtering through a huge number...

The CIA publishes declassified documents about pyramids and a lost civilization on Mars

In January, the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, the CIA, published online more than 13 million pages of declassified documents. Among them, ufologists...

France To Ban All Pesticides Amid Worldwide Bee Death Epidemic

France have announced plans to completely ban the use of pesticides due to unusually high bee deaths worldwide, which French authorities claims pesticides are responsible for.  Lawmakers...

Unit 731: The WW2 Holocaust The West Tried To Erase From History

Newly released historical documents are giving insight into a mass killing during the World War II era that is not covered in public schools. Japanese...

Remote Neural Monitoring: How They Spy on Your Thoughts

How many times did you have thoughts that you never wanted to share with anyone, and have been constantly worried at the thought of...

37 Million Bees Instantly Dropped Dead After Farms Started Spraying Neonicotinoids On GMO Crops

After nearby farms began spraying insecticides on their GMO crops, 37 million bees died instantly at one farm as a result. It’s no secret that...