Mankind has crafted weapons and tools from "alien" materials for thousands of years.
Call them weapons from the heavens if you wish. Since time immemorial, people across the planet looked to the stars for countless answers. From time to time, the heavens would respond. Not willingly, of course.
Meteorites, asteroids, and comets have bombarded the Earth since its formation. Eventually, as humankind evolved from a primitive species, we learned to worship the skies, claiming that our ‘gods’ came from the heavens. But not only the gods. Sometimes, other things would come from the heavens. Things the ancients could touch. Feel. And eventually, make use of it.
Bronze Age / Iron Age People
Already in the bronze age, people were making intricate weapons and tools.
But these artifacts were not ordinary items.
As its name suggests, the Bronze Age is a period in history when humanity actually learned to use bronze by smelting copper and then alloy it with tin, arsenic, or other metals.
The Iron Age came after the Bronze Age.
But as we were transitioning into the Iron Age, experts found that some people were already using iron. Meteoric Iron.
In fact, scholars had claimed that long before we actually learned how to smelt iron and reduce its impurities, the cosmos would send s a few gifts from the skies.
Specifically, iron. Meteoric iron.
And so, people from the early Iron age would get excellent iron without having to do much.
There are quite a few examples of meteoric weapons and tools from the Bronze age.
Among the more interesting is the dagger, bracelet, and headrest of Tutankhamen (Egypt, −1350 BCE).
But similar examples have been found in Turkey, Syria, and even China.
It seems that when meteorites crashed on Earth, people would rush to see what had fallen from the heavens.
As they did, they collected the material and found a way to make use of it.
And that’s because meteoric iron comes ready in a metallic state and ready to be used. Although it wasn’t abundant, people would craft all sorts of things from it when it was discovered. These items were cherished and well taken care of.
In fact, it is believed that the cost of iron during the Bronze Age was ten times that of gold due to its rarity. As noted by the Meteoritical Bulletin Database, there are only around 1,000 documented records of iron-containing meteorites. Their weights range from 60 tons to less than half an ounce.
This post looks at five of the most fascinating Meteorite Iron Artifacts crafted in ancient times.
Tut’s Alien Dagger
Not alien as in E.T. but alien as in foreign, not from Earth.
When archaeologist Howard Carter explored the tomb of Tutankhamun, he found countless precious artifacts.
Among them, the British archaeologists discovered an intricately crafted dagger.
As it turns out, the dagger that belonged to King Tut was no ordinary weapon. It was crafted from meteorite iron and was regarded as a present from the gods.
“The blade’s high nickel content…strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin,” the scientists that studied the dagger concluded in a 2016 study.
Researchers had concluded that the ironwork found inside Tutankhamen’s tomb had been of such high quality that latter-day archaeologists argued how the ancient Egyptians had achieved “significant mastery” of iron-working, centuries before the Iron Age even began.
5,000-Year-Old Egyptian Beads
The earliest known iron artifacts are nine small beads securely dated to circa 3200 BC, from two burials in Gerzeh, northern Egypt.
Scientists have demonstrated that these beads were actually made in ancient times from meteoric iron.
They were shaped more than 5,000 years ago by carefully hammering the metal into thin sheets, which were later rolled into tubes.
The Alaca Höyük iron Dagger is another fascinating ancient piece crafted with remnants from meteorites.
Made from Meteoric iron with a golden hilt/guard, the Alaca Höyük iron Dagger is one of the oldest weapons of its kind ever discovered. It belongs to the Hattian culture, which developed in modern-day Turkey. Experts revealed the dagger dates back to around 2500 BC.
Two 3,000-Year-Old Axes from China
Two weapons that have rarely been exhibited and owned by the Freer Gallery of Art are among the best examples of ancient iron meteorite weapons in Asia.
Believed to have been discovered in 1934 in Honan Province in China, it is believed the two unique axes date back to the early Chou Dynasty, to around 1,000 BC.
The weapons were found to be of great interest for three main reasons.
First, the weapons feature a combination of two different metals, one common at the time of manufacture and the other presumably unknown in China. Second, researchers have found evidence that both axes were e joined by the casting-on method, a well-known technique of the Bronze Age in China. And Third, the iron in both weapons is of meteoritic origin.
The Featured image was extracted from the paper: ‘Two Early Chinese Bronze Age Weapons With Meteoritic Iron Blades. ‘1971.
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