When you’re a pharaoh in ancient Egypt, you get the best of the best. That's just how things work.
Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, had been mummified approximately 3,300 or more years ago, and inside of his sarcophagus was a special dagger that belonged specifically to him.
Scientists have been baffled by the dagger’s pristine condition. Made from iron, the blade surely would have rusted to bits by now. On the contrary however, the iron is very well made and remains in excellent condition.
In line with scientists’ suspicions, the dagger’s blade appears to be crafted out of a high quality iron from a meteorite.
A technique using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry technology was used to determine that the blade had a high nickel composition, which was very much so similar to the composition of a known meteor landing site. The findings are published in the journal of Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
"Meteoritic iron is clearly indicated by the presence of a high percentage of nickel," said lead author of the study, Daniela Comelli.
What’s more is the blade is very fine – much finer than the blade any ordinary Egyptian would be carrying around. The high level of craftsmanship shows that even back in the day, the ancient people had the knowledge and the skills to craft high-quality equipment out of difficult materials.
The findings don’t suggest that ancient Egyptians had the technology to go into space and find a meteor to make a dagger out of, but rather that when King Tut’s closest followers discovered a really cool space rock on the ground, they used it to make him a very fancy knife.
The knife not only has a meteorite iron blade, but also a gold handle and fancy sheath.
From what it looks like, meteorite iron doesn’t seem to rust easily. Perhaps space mining would be a good investment after all.