Sunday, May 25, 2014

Archaeologists Discover Ancient Egyptians Made Beads From Meteorites

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Call the guy from Ancient Aliens! He's going to love this. Archaeologists recently confirmed that 5,000 year old Egyptian beads were made from pieces of meteorite. They are the oldest objects made in iron that we have discovered so far, and they were excavated in 1911. The beads currently reside in the Petrie Museum in London, and I imagine they'll be seeing an increase in traffic soon.

The finding was just announced in the Journal of Archaeological Science this week. Professor Thilo Rehren worked with a team to scan the beads with netro and gamma-ray beams that revealed the meteorite origin as well as how they were made. He states:

"The shape of the beads was obtained by smithing and rolling, most likely involving multiple cycles of hammering, and not by the traditional stone-working techniques such as carving or drilling which were used for the other beads found in the same tomb."

It's fascinating and humbling.

See more photos of the incredible artifacts after the break.

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(The Guardian via The Telegraph via io9)

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