Scientists have discovered that the iron dagger blade found in the sarcophagus of ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun (14th Century BC) most likely originated from a meteor.
In a paper published last month in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science the authors tested the blade using portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry and found that it “strongly supports meteoritic origin.”
“Our study confirms that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects,” the paper said.
Their findings comply with recent analysis of ancient iron artifacts from Gerzeh, an Egyptian cemetery on the west bank of the Nile.
“The sporadic use of iron has been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean area from the late Neolithic period to the Bronze Age. Despite the rare existence of smelted iron, it is generally assumed that early iron objects were produced from meteoritic iron,” the authors wrote.
The high-quality of Tutankhamun’s blade compared to other iron artifacts also found to be from meteorites shows “a significant mastery of ironworking in Tutankhamun’s time” the study said.
In related news, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Dr. Khaled El-Enany said earlier this month that his ministry will continue with its research and scans of Tutankhamen’s tomb, linked to a theory that secret burial chambers could be hidden behind its walls.
At a recent conference in Cairo dedicated to King Tutankhamun, archeologists clashed over the theory of the secret burial chambers.
Speaking at the conference, former antiquities minister and famed Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawas rejected the theory that the undiscovered area lies behind the Tutankhamun’s tomb and likely contains the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, one of pharaonic Egypt’s most famous figures.
The theory, put forward last year by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, has prompted the new exploration and the tomb has been extensively scanned by radar.
Story by CCTV America and the Associated Press.
Photos: Treasures found in Egypt
One of Egypt's famed King Tutankhamun's golden sarcophagus is displayed at his tomb in a glass case at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_mideast-egypt-antiqui_murp-1-copy_0.jpg]5000Mideast Egypt Antiquities
FILE -- In this Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 file photo, the tomb of King Tut is displayed in a glass case at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, Tuesday. On Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said there is a 90 percent chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun's tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_mideast-egypt-antiqui_murp-1_0.jpg]4450Mideast Egypt Antiquities
FILE -- In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 file photo, tourists look at the tomb of King Tut as it is displayed in a glass case at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. On Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said there is a 90 percent chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun's tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_egypt-antiquities_murp_0.jpg]4181Egypt Antiquities
FILE - In a Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 file photo, a tourist takes photos of inscriptions on the walls of King Merenptah's tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. Egypt says there is a 90 percent chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun's tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum. Speaking at a press conference in Luxor on Saturday, Nov. 28, Mamdouh el-Damaty said the results will be sent to Japan for a month-long analysis before the search is resumed. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_mideast-egypt_murp-1_0.jpg]3930Mideast Egypt
The mummy of King Tutankhamun's is displayed at his tomb in a glass case at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_mideast-egypt-antiqui_murp-2-copy_0.jpg]3870Mideast Egypt Antiquities
FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, a 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti is displayed at the New Museum in Berlin, Germany. Egypt’s antiquities ministry said on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 exploration has begun inside King Tutankhamun’s 3,300 year-old tomb, in the search for alleged hidden chambers, one of which may include Queen Nefertiti, according to a new theory. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_mideast-egypt-antiqui_murp-2_0.jpg]3700Mideast Egypt Antiquities
FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, file photo, the gold mask of King Tutankhamun is seen in its glass case during a press tour, in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. Egypt’s antiquities ministry said on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 that exploration has begun inside King Tutankhamun’s 3,300 year-old tomb, in the search for alleged hidden chambers, one of which may include Queen Nefertiti, according to a new theory. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_1024px-psusennes_i_mask_by_rafaele.jpg]5290
The funerary mask of pharaoh Psusennes I on display at the "Pharaon, Homme, Roi, Dieu" exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts of Valenciennes, France (Wikimedia photo by Larazoni)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_256px-kv56_seti_ii_gold_earrings.jpg]5040
Gold earrings bearing the cartouche of pharaoh Seti II (Sethos II) found in tomb KV56 in 1908 by an expedition funded by Theodore M. Davis. It is now located in the Cairo Museum. (Photo by Hans Ollermann on Flickr)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_512px-egyptian_-_ring_bezel_-_walters_42389_-_bottom.jpg]4650
Egyptian Ring Bezel: A scarab carved of light brown steatite with a thick gold rim around the bottom edge. A lip of gold, pressed around the scarab to hold it in place, is drawn out to form hoop-sockets. Carved into the back of the scarab is a beetle with outstretched legs under a disk. (Wikimedia public domain photo)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_640px-ancient_gold_bowl.jpg]4520
An ancient gold bowl made of solid gold taken from the tombs of an Egyptian Pharoh and now found in the British Museum. When Pharohs were entombed valuable objects that they may need in the After-life were buried with them and gold was often chosen for its perpetual protection against corrosion. (Wikimedia public domain photo)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_3450127074_1ab9e4e234_z.jpg]4480
Egyptian Artifacts at the British Museum (Photo by David Woo on Flicker)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_3794075446_f64372c90e_b.jpg]4340
Tourists visit the temple at Luxor, Egypt, at sunset. Sphinxes line both sides of the road approaching Luxor Temple. The road originally extended all the way between Karnak and Luxor temples. (Photo by Rick Collier on Flickr)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_16268375966_494eb4e483_z.jpg]4130
This elaborately carved oil container has it's own stand. The flanking openwork design symbolizes the unification of the two lands, Upper and Lower Egypt. Papyri, representing the north emerge from lilies, representing the south. (Photo by Tjflex2 on Flicker)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_16292525181_257dc7afa0_z.jpg]4130
Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Tutankhamun. (Photo by Tjflex2 on Flickr)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_archaeological_survey_of_egypt_memoir_1893_14783445982.jpg]4000
Archaeological survey of Egypt memoir (Wikimedia public domain photo)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_opening_of_the_mouth_-_tutankhamun_and_aja.jpg]3920
(Wikimedia public domain photo)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_pendant_about_700_bc_late_period_dynasty_25_amethyst_and_gold_view_1_-_cleveland_museum_of_art_-_dsc08787.jpg]3900
Pendant, about 700 BC, Late Period, Dynasty 25, amethyst and gold. (Wikimedia photo by Daderot)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-treasures-found-in-egypt/thumbs/thumbs_tutankhamun_period_god_amun.jpg]3920
God Amun, a fragmant of a coronation statuary group. (Wikimedia public domain photo)