Join Date: May 2006
This idea of the King Tut dagger being of meteoritic origin is not a new idea, from my recollection it has been floating around for at least 50 years.
It might well be true that the KT dagger has its origins in meteoritic material, but this examination carried out by Albert Jambon does not, in my opinion, confirm meteoric origin of the material, what it does is to confirm possibility or meteoric origin of the KT dagger material, as well as virtually all other ferric material used in early iron artifacts. This possibility seems to be based upon the percentages of nickel and cobalt present in the KT dagger, which align with the median composition of a group of iron meteorites. We have a possibility, we do not have proof. Jambon has presented a hypothesis, it is not yet even a theory.
I will be very interested in any peer reviews that Jambon's findings may generate.
Personally, I do not find the KT dagger such a remarkable object.
The best authenticated early iron object comes from the burial find at Alaca Huyuk in Turkey, this dates from between 2500 to 2300 BC. It is a 30cm overall length dagger with an iron blade.
The Hittites were present in Asia Minor before 1700BC, they were at their peak of power in about 1400BC, they had developed viable iron weapons by about 1500BC. I am unclear on the form of iron that Hittites used in their production, but the sheer volume of iron of Hittite manufacture seems to indicate it was not of meteoritic origin. I think it was probably limonite in one form or another, a form of iron ore that can be turned into useable weapons and tools, and which was used as a source of ferric materials by early --- and not so early --- iron workers from Africa to Sweden. It would not have been likely to be haematite because of the requirement for smelting, and I think Hittite culture was a bit early for the smelting process, so they needed a source that can be worked in the forge, and limonite can be worked with forge technology.
Interestingly, in limonite we find iron in combination with nickel and with cobalt.
Even more interestingly, the Royal Houses of Egypt and of the Hittites were connected by marriage.
Hittite iron weapon technology in place by 1500BC.
King Tut dagger dated to +/- 1300BC.
Egyptian court and Hittite court with diplomatic and marital connections.
Where is the big mystery?
The KT dagger blade is Hittite in origin, mounted in Egypt.
Hittite iron technology was probably forge technology and rested on the refinement of limonite.
Limonite is an iron ore that contains both nickel and cobalt.
Some iron meteorites contain both nickel and cobalt.
I am not a metallurgist, everything I have written above is simply common knowledge for anybody who has a broad general interest in history, archaeology and the history of iron use. It is all in the public domain and can be verified by relevant research. I have not bothered to check any of this before writing this post, it is stuff that is common knowledge and I have been aware of for a long time.
Jambon has identified cobalt and nickel in early iron artifacts, he has identified the percentages of these elements as corelevant to median percentages of the same elements in a group of iron meteorites. This is not proof of origin of the material, it is the basis for a hypothetical origin of the material, however logical analysis would seem to disallow this hypothesis.