King Tut’s Dagger Was Made From Damn Meteorite

King Tut’s Dagger Was Made From Damn Meteorite
Source: AP
Source: AP

Tutankhamun, the Egyptian king who is said to have died at 19 — and whose body exploded in its sarcophagus after a crappy mummy job — was buried with a knife made of space iron.

In a study published in Meteoritics & Planetary Space, researchers ran tests on an iron dagger found in King Tut's sarcophagus. Using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry — like what you'd use to detect lead in soil — they discovered the knife's iron blade has meteoritic origin, meaning the iron originally came from a meteor that hit Earth.

This isn't the only case of iron from this time period coming from a meteorite, according to the study. Some of the oldest ancient Egyptian iron artifacts, from around 4,000-3,000 B.C., were made of iron from meteorites, too, according to Discovery.

But this is the first confirmation of the blade's origin, which has been the subject of debate among ancient Egypt researchers. Plus, the findings suggest this kind of iron had a lot of value, and considering the craftsmanship of the blade, the Egyptians of the time were pretty damn good at working it.

According to Discovery, Tut was also found with a scarab necklace made of Libyan desert silica glass — the glass you'd get from a meteorite smashing into the desert. 

A 19-year-old king who carried a meteorite dagger, wore a meteor-impact necklace and blew up in his tomb. In other news, Tut might have been the coolest teen in history.

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Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

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