Join Date: May 2006
Eytan --- I tend to avoid Wiki, especially if it involves questions relating to things that I know very little about, but very high nickel in iron almost invariably indicates meteoritic origin, so whether it is 10%, 11%, or in fact anything above +/- 6% I'll accept that the raw material for the KT dagger is most likely to be meteoritic in origin.
In respect of method of manufacture, I'm now wondering if perhaps this might be a casting. I know I've been pushing the "forge barrow" all through this discussion, and that is because I know more than a little bit about forging, both from a historical perspective, and from a practical perspective. This added to the fact that up until yesterday, everything I wrote in this thread came from my own memory.
However, yesterday I found I could go no further without spending time on net searches, which I did, and I came across a lot of things that I did not know. In the early iron age/late bronze age (the two overlapped) some iron artifacts were cast. When you think about it, this is logical, as these people had been casting bronze, why not try casting this new metal the same way?
But if you are going to cast iron you need very high temperatures, so maybe iron smelting came before iron forging in this part of the world. In Africa it appears not to have, but maybe in other places it did. A development of the bronze smelting furnace rather than a development of a separate technology.
With forge technology, working meteoritic material is not really all that difficult, it can be done in very primitive forges, in fact my own solid fuel forge (now out of commission) is no more than an adaptation of a 2000 year old design.
But if we work iron by forging, it requires welding, and in the pics of the KT dagger that I have seen, I cannot see any evidence of welding. Maybe the evidence is there but can only be seen with the dagger in hand. Maybe there are no traces of welding, in which case it must be cast.
In any case, if the KT dagger is a casting, it could have been shaped by stock removal.
David --- thank you for pointing out that KT blunder.
I had actually put King Tut out of my mind, sure, he finished up with the dagger, but that is the only thing we know of his involvement with it.
Yes, this discussion has been all about King Tut's dagger, but we know it as KT's dagger because it was found it with KT, we do not know how KT came into possession of that dagger.
Because we have not the smallest inkling of how KT came into possession of the dagger, it seems to me to be illogical to assume that it came to him directly from point of origin.
Because of this I have shifted my consideration of the dagger to only three points which I consider to be the important questions:-
1) what is the King Tut Dagger made from?
2) how was it made?
3) where was it made?
As I have taken this position of focus on these three factors, I have not found it necessary to pursue investigation of diplomatic ties with any particular Egyptian ruler.
How the dagger came into Egypt, how it came into King Tut's possession might certainly be of some interest, and by application of logic might assist in identification of source, but to my mind, this has ceased to be a political question and has assumed the nature of a technical question.
So David, diplomatic contact between King Tut's court and the court of the Hittites?
King Tut was 8 or 9 when he came to the throne, he was 18 or 19 when he died. During his entire reign the Hittite Empire was ruled by King Suppiluliuma.
Egypt was engaged in war with the Hittites, and seemed to consistently lose.
Under conditions such as these I rather think that any diplomacy that might have been going on, would have been a little bit fractured.
Personally I would not expect to see much evidence of diplomacy between the court of King Tut and the court of King Suppi. The form that diplomacy took at this time was the exchange of royal gifts, all the Egyptians and Hittites seemed to be exchanging were blows.
Tut's widow clearly tried to begin the diplomatic process again by inviting King Suppi to send one of his sons as a consort. The son was murdered during his journey to Egypt. Probably just as well according to the experts.
But then, maybe it was not King Tut's widow who wrote to King Suppi requesting one of his sons as a consort. A current opinion amongst some scholars seems to be that it was Akhenaten's widow, not Tut's widow, who wanted to break with tradition and pollute the royal blood.
Deeper you dig the more confusing it gets.
I've run out of memory, I do not have time to do google searches, in any case I do not like google searches, I prefer books, so I think this might be my last post to this thread. At the moment I have nothing more to add.