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Old 17th December 2017, 12:21 PM   #31
ausjulius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
The chinese qing dynasty (17c) traded with the tlingit and their coins are found sewn onto tlingit armour. not a far stretch to consider chinese iron/steel being used in their blades. the chinese were selling 'native' design blades all over their trade areas. (phillipines as another trade partner comes to mind).

Trade routes were much farther afield and well developed much further back than we think, and we find they were even further back the more we discover new evidence. heck, even the early romans preferred silk clothes.

the chinese coins appeared in the 19th century and are not due to any chinese trading there is no chiense junk ever crossing the pacific.. the russians and spanish were the people trading and these chinese coins manchurian coins had little value. considering all of the russian furs from the pacific coast were headed to the manchu upper class. korea and japan.. id imagine they had huge amount of these practically worthless coins.. and used them in a cunning way as trade with the natives. just as beads and glass were also used.
russians were very active and them and the spanish took people form hawaii to the american continant to work.. hudsons bay company recruited some of these guys and the had hawaiian workers in the pacific.. also russians took natives from siberia and the took natives from alaska to southern california.. much of the russian crews were siberians.. i think yakutians made up a large part as well as other far eastern groups.
many of these guys were skilled metal workers in their own culture.
although it seems russians mainly took goods to trade mostly vorsma ect made blades. kondrat (a german migrant family involved in knife production) being a common marker of the trade blades (now the previously state owned company "trud")


additionally the natives of the pacific always had had metal- both copper and meteorite iron and had their own pre-contact bladed weapons.. the antenna daggers are a good example being of a specific design.. i.e one side of the blade is flat like some japanese weapons..
in that time the spanish and later the americas were bringing a lot of goods form china as well. furniture. trinkets, ceramics ect
whaling ships were very active up the coas. and in fact the americas were also very active in the russia far east with Sakhalin island having american whaling bases and in fact shantar islands with particularly big shantar island being pretty much occupied only by americans and natives. these people couldnt trade in the Manchurian empire at the time with the russians having that special agreement between them and the manchus and a monopoly in that region.
so as they were sealing and trading furs as well in the 18th centuary and early 19th centuray. and the closest furm market was manchuria korea and japan.. i have no dount that they traded for mostly chinese korean and japanese goods to the russian and chinese japanese and korean traders in the area and then took those good back to north america with their cargos of whale seal ect and would probably bring sea otter and beaver to asia from the north east on the way there.
so they too could be a source of the coins. the americans got around.. they were also active in parts of the northern siberian coast in that period. ..
..
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Old 17th December 2017, 08:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
David, I do not understand what is meant by "the Iron Age Proper", however the Hittites were the first technologically advanced people to produce iron tools, artifacts and weapons in any considerable number, and the Hittites had developed viable iron tools and weapons by about 1500BC.

The Hittite Empire collapsed in about 1200BC, and immediately after this collapse the rise of iron technology occurred in Cyprus and Greece. With the rise of iron technology in Greece there was a leap in production of iron artifacts. Also from about 1200 BC we have the first evidence from Cyprus of iron with a carbon content --- ie, steel --- that has been quenched.

It appears that although iron with a carbon content has been found from earlier dates, there was no consistency in the carburisation process, it was an accidental carburisation that had resulted from carburisation in the forge, rather than carburisation in a bloomery. However, carbon content of iron by itself is not enough to produce a tool or weapon that is markedly superior to bronze, that iron with the carbon content needs to be heated and quenched. It would seem that this did not occur until after about 1200BC, so maybe that is what is meant by "Iron Age Proper" .

While it is true that the Ancient Egyptians did cold forge meteoritic material to produce talismans, they did not begin to produce iron tools and weapons until about 500-600BC, when iron smelting technology became available.

Egypt at the time of Tutankhamen did not possess the technology to produce a blade like the KT dagger, but the Hittites did, and there were diplomatic and marriage ties between the Egyptian court and the Hittite court.

An Afterthought

For those of us who come from a European cultural background, our idea of the Iron Age tends to focus on the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin, however, it should not be forgotten that evidence of iron working that could date back to 1800BC has been found in Uttar Pradesh in India, where it seems to be associated with the migrations of the Vedic People. The evidence includes slag, tuyeres and remains of furnaces.

If we think of the "The Iron Age" in terms of the entire world, I really do think that that the opinion that the Iron Age began with Greece and Cyprus is a rather limited point of view.

Alan, i was not trying to create an new or confusing terminology by referring to the "Iron Age proper". It is simply that 1200 BC is the date that most historians seem to agree on for the beginning of the Iron Age. I believe i was quite clear that knowledge of forging iron was in existence for at least hundreds of years before this date, but i suppose that historians tend to not mark us as being fully into the Iron Age until the process became more commonplace rather than a technology held by just a single civilization.
Now, i am still not convinced that the process described here for determining the origins of the material for the KT dagger is fool proof or accurate, but if we are to assume that the dagger is indeed made from meteoric ore then i see no reason why it could not have been made by Egyptians in 1300 BC since forging with a big chunk of iron meteorite apparently does not require the use of smelting technology.
This, of course, does not count out the possibility that it might have been a gift from the Hittites. There was know communication between these two great civilizations and apparently King Tut's widow sought to marry a Hittite prince soon after her husband's death.
"A crisis of succession gripped the royal court. With power plays and intrigues surely seething around her, Tut's widow, Ankhesenamun, appears to have launched a coup of her own, sending desperate letters to the king of the Hittites in Anatolia. "My husband is dead," she wrote. "Send me your son and I will make him king." It was an unprecedented request, but understandable. "Her grandmother was Queen Tiye, one of the most powerful queens Egypt ever saw," Ray Johnson explained. "Her mother was Nefertiti. They ruled as living goddesses, so of course Ankhesenamun felt she had the same power. And she found out that she didn't."
A Hittite prince, Zannanza, was eventually sent south to marry her, but he was killed—by a hit squad, some speculate—as he entered Egyptian territory. An elder courtier named Aye, possibly Ankhesenamun's grandfather, then became pharaoh."

But there is a reason the move that King Tut's widow attempted is considered "unprecedented".
It was the era from about 1500-1200 BC that Egypt had the most contact with the Hittites. However, they were for much of that time an adversary if not an outright enemy of the Egyptians. The Hittites were more likely to desire planting such a dagger into the heart of the Egyptian pharaoh rather than gifting it to him. It was Ramses II who brokered the first peace treaty with the Hittites in 1258 BC, but that was not until nearly a century after the death of King Tut. It is actually acknowledged by many historians as the first peace treaty ever recorded by both sides. He did indeed marry a Hittite princess a few years later. I am not aware of any particular diplomatic relationship during King Tut's time or before where the Hittites would be likely to gift a beautiful dagger such as this one to the Egyptian pharaoh, nor any intermarriages between these courts before Ramses II.
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Old 17th December 2017, 10:44 PM   #33
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Thanks for your further comments David.

I was not suggesting that you originated the "Iron Age Proper" terminology, it is a term that is fairly commonly encountered in texts that deal specifically with the Iron Age, and in texts that take a broad general view of history. It represents one point of view of the academics who are specialists in these fields, it is not a universal opinion.

I am not specialist in either Iron Age history or general history, I have only a slight knowledge of both, but I have read over many years many texts dealing with both fields, and I have formed the opinion that I tend to agree with the people who place the beginning of the Iron Age quite a bit earlier than the point at which Greece and Cyprus became involved.

Some historians adopt one point of view, some historians adopt a different point of view.
Two different opinions.
I incline towards one of these opinions, and question the validity of the other.

Thus, when I wrote that "--- I do not understand what is meant by "the Iron Age Proper"---", this is exactly what I meant. It was not an oblique comment, it can be taken at face value, and it refers only to my personal understanding.

However, what historians do seem to agree on is that Egypt did not begin to work with ferric material until iron smelting technology became widely available around 600BC.

It is true that a piece of meteoritic material can be cold forged into a reasonably compact form, it is also true that a piece of meteoritic material can be worked in a forge.

However, the technology required to do this, and the skill needed to apply that technology does not come out of a clear blue sky, it leaves evidence of its development, and in the case of Ancient Egypt this evidence is not present.

The Iron Age came to Egypt when iron smelting technology became widely available, and that was around 600BC.

The KT dagger can be dated to around 1300BC.

We have in the KT dagger a particular artefact, that required a particular technology and a particular skill to produce.

There is no evidence of that technology and skill existing in Egypt at or prior to the date of the KT dagger.

There is evidence of the technology and skill existing in Anatolia at the date of the KT dagger, and for a considerable time before this date.

The raw material used in Anatolia was probably haematite, it might have been magnetite, it could have been limonite, it was almost certainly not generally meteorite, but in very early items, it might have been.

The reason for the rise of iron technology is often misunderstood. Quite simply the ingredients needed to produce bronze were localised and difficult to obtain, on the other hand sources of ferric material are widespread and can be found almost everywhere. People turned to iron because of availability and then developed the technology needed to work it. Early iron artefacts were not really superior to bronze, it was only when carburisation was understood that ferric materials became a better product than bronze.

In fact, we are not talking about the dagger as a whole, we are only talking about the blade, the mounts are Egyptian. Dagger blades were recognised as acceptable gifts between rulers at this time in history.

The core question here is the way in which the Jambon findings are to be understood. In my opinion Jambon has produced a hypothesis, he has not produced a theory, and he has not produced proof of meteoritic origin of the KT dagger.
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Old 18th December 2017, 01:48 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
The KT dagger can be dated to around 1300BC.

We have in the KT dagger a particular artefact, that required a particular technology and a particular skill to produce.

There is no evidence of that technology and skill existing in Egypt at or prior to the date of the KT dagger.

There is evidence of the technology and skill existing in Anatolia at the date of the KT dagger, and for a considerable time before this date.

The raw material used in Anatolia was probably haematite, it might have been magnetite, it could have been limonite, it was almost certainly not generally meteorite, but in very early items, it might have been.

In fact, we are not talking about the dagger as a whole, we are only talking about the blade, the mounts are Egyptian. Dagger blades were recognised as acceptable gifts between rulers at this time in history.

The core question here is the way in which the Jambon findings are to be understood. In my opinion Jambon has produced a hypothesis, he has not produced a theory, and he has not produced proof of meteoritic origin of the KT dagger.

On the last note Alan i believe i have made it clear that we are in agreement.
I have certainly not ruled out that the KT blade may have come from a source outside of Egypt, however, if we are looking for evidence, i don't believe we can find much evidence that the Hittites would have gifted such a blade to any of the pharaohs of Egypt as they were in a rather continuous adversarial state previous to the peace treaty brokered by Ramses II in 1258 BC. Perhaps it may have been a war capture and seeing how iron in Egypt was seen at that point as a metal associated with royalty and power it may have found its way to the pharaoh. I just see no evidence that these two super powers of their day were giving gifts to one another at this point in history.
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Old 18th December 2017, 02:42 AM   #35
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Yes, I think we are largely in agreement David, however, you misunderstand me if you believe that I am claiming that the KT dagger was a gift from the Hittite court to the ruler of Egypt.

How could I possibly make such a claim? This would be pure supposition and I do try my best not get involved in such nonsense.

What I do claim is that manufacture of the KT dagger blade required an advanced level of iron working skill and technology.

In 1300BC this skill and technology did not exist in Egypt, but it did exist in Anatolia. the people who inhabited Anatolia were Hittites, the Hittite people were the ones who at this time in history did have the skill and the technology to make the KT dagger blade.

The Hittite court had connections with the court of Egypt.

At this time in history iron dagger blades were considered to be suitable gifts for royalty.

How the KT dagger blade got from Anatolia to Egypt I have no idea at all, but I do posit that it was of Anatolian origin.
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Old 18th December 2017, 08:14 AM   #36
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Hello everybody,

Coincidentally, early last month a guy in YouTube uploaded his experiment in forging meteorite. Campo del Cielo meteorite to be exact. What I can say is that it looked very very difficult. The presentation can be annoying at times but the content is very interesting. We can finally witness the difficulties in forging this material if we do not know how to do it.

Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr_5tIPP3dM

Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-QWol38NA0

Other videos showing successful attempts are also available in Youtube.

Rasdan

Last edited by rasdan : 18th December 2017 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 18th December 2017, 09:16 AM   #37
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Yes Rasdan, you said it :- "---if you don't know how to do it---"

Well, not quite all, because I never had a failure, I couldn't afford to, it was so horribly expensive. I didn't know how to do the first time I tried, I learnt as I worked, but my first attempt was not a failure.

This bloke is trying to weld too cold, he simply does not understand forge welding. He is forging too cold for this material too. Meteorite needs to be forged close to weld temperature, if you do not and you forge too cold, it comes unstuck, and that is exactly the problem he's having.

Secondly he is not washing the material before trying to forge it:- minimum of 7 fold + weld is necessary.

The material itself looks excellent, he reckons it is terrible material? Oh yeah? I wish I could have got stuff like that when I was doing this.

Meteorite is no more difficult to weld than a bloom, or middle quality wrought iron, and it is probably easier than hot short iron.

He'd probably do a wee bit better if somebody taught him how to hold and use a hammer:- you do not hold a hammer like a club, you hold it with your thumb along the top of the handle, this aids control, increases force.

Most of all you need to understand the nature of the material, and coax it to do what you want it to do. This bloke obviously thinks that brute force and ignorance will get results. It will not.

Edit

Something else I just noticed too:- most of the time he's choking his hammer, as the video progresses his hand moves down the hammer handle, the hammer is too heavy for him.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 18th December 2017 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 18th December 2017, 11:09 AM   #38
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G'day Alan

Yes I agree with you. If we spend some time thinking/studying about it just a bit more before starting a work the outcome would be much better. This person looks as if he is in a hurry to achieve something. Or probably he is only after the number of views of his video. Perhaps he will come up with another video when he has got the necessary skills/knowledge for this type of work.
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Old 18th December 2017, 02:06 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
It was the era from about 1500-1200 BC that Egypt had the most contact with the Hittites. However, they were for much of that time an adversary if not an outright enemy of the Egyptians. The Hittites were more likely to desire planting such a dagger into the heart of the Egyptian pharaoh rather than gifting it to him. It was Ramses II who brokered the first peace treaty with the Hittites in 1258 BC, but that was not until nearly a century after the death of King Tut. It is actually acknowledged by many historians as the first peace treaty ever recorded by both sides. He did indeed marry a Hittite princess a few years later. I am not aware of any particular diplomatic relationship during King Tut's time or before where the Hittites would be likely to gift a beautiful dagger such as this one to the Egyptian pharaoh, nor any intermarriages between these courts before Ramses II.


Hello David,
King Tut's dagger being a gift from the Hittites is just one of many possibilities. It can very well be a booty from an earlier confrontation or simply a blade smuggled by some unscrupulous merchant.
Anyhow, as we know so little about this blade, everything is open to speculation.
Regards,
Marius
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Old 18th December 2017, 04:19 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Hello David,
King Tut's dagger being a gift from the Hittites is just one of many possibilities. It can very well be a booty from an earlier confrontation or simply a blade smuggled by some unscrupulous merchant.
Anyhow, as we know so little about this blade, everything is open to speculation.
Regards,
Marius

Agreed Marius. I just don't see much evidence of any positive diplomacy between these two great empires at this early date. Some things we will never know for sure.
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Old 18th December 2017, 08:15 PM   #41
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The first thing we do know for sure is that iron working in Egypt began with the wide availability of iron smelting technology around 600BC.

Iron working in Anatolia began hundreds of years earlier. By about 1400 BC there was ongoing production of iron artifacts by the Hittites.

The second thing we do know for sure is that Rameses II (?) led an army of tens of thousands ---- 10K, 20K, 30K ? --- against the Hittites in the second half of the 1200's BC. This resulted in a battle at Qadesh.

The Egyptians were a major technologically advanced power, so were the Hittites, they were evenly matched and they both claimed that they won, another way of thinking about Qadesh is that they both lost.

In any case, what it boils down to is this:- prior to Qadesh the Hittites had been an ongoing problem for the Egyptians, Qadesh did not settle things immediately, and there was further aggravation on both sides after Qadesh, but 15 or 20 years after Qadesh the Egyptians and the Hittites had a sit-down and agreed a treaty of peace. My understanding is that a modern copy of this treaty is in the headquarters of the UN in New York. It is believed to be the first international peace treaty.

Peace Treaties do not come into existence in the absence of diplomacy. Diplomacy also thrives in the lead up to wars. Ancient leaders were no more stupid than modern leaders:- nobody wants war if it can be avoided.

A superficial time line looks like this:-

pre-1500BC iron working technology begins in Anatolia, the Hittite People inhabit Anatolia

1400BC iron working technology used by Hittite nation for manufacture of weapons

1300 to 1200BC ongoing Egyptian and Hittite conflicts culminating in the Battle of Qadesh, which ultimately generates the world's first peace treaty.

Interestingly King Tutankhamen died in about 1300BC.

We cannot claim to know the exact circumstances under which KT got hold of his dagger, but if we can recall our high school history lessons we do have virtually irrefutable evidence for exactly where that dagger blade came from.

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Old 18th December 2017, 11:51 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Peace Treaties do not come into existence in the absence of diplomacy. Diplomacy also thrives in the lead up to wars. Ancient leaders were no more stupid than modern leaders:- nobody wants war if it can be avoided.

We cannot claim to know the exact circumstances under which KT got hold of his dagger, but if we can recall our high school history lessons we do have virtually irrefutable evidence for exactly where that dagger blade came from.

Certainly some diplomacy was at work in the day of Ramses II before this peace treaty went into effect. This was a result of the Battle of Qadesh, so the two great powers already were at war. But i cannot find much, if any diplomacy between Hittites and the Eqyptians before this time.
There is plenty of records of correspondences between Egypt and other smaller powers in the area, especially with the Mitanni kingdom who were once rivals of Egypt, but joined forces with them for protection from the Hittites. There is apparently even actual clay tablet correspondence between the King of Mitanni and King Tut's grandfather, Amenhoep III that mentions a dagger sent to the Pharaoh that was booty from the Hittites. Who knows, perhaps this is the very dagger of our current conversation that was left to King Tut from his grandfather and eventual entombed with the boy king when he died.
"We also know that iron dagger blades were important enough to be mentioned in diplomatic correspondence. The best-known example is a letter from King Tushratta of Mitanni (today in northern Iraq and Syria) detailing a dowry of his daughter who was to be sent as a bride to Tutankhamun’s grandfather, King Amenhotep III. This letter intriguingly refers to a dagger blade of “habalkinu”, a poorly documented word derived from the ancient Hittite language that some linguists have translated as “steel”."
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...e-a7066216.html

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Old 19th December 2017, 04:01 AM   #43
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These extended exchanges on the Ancient World are really taxing my memory. I am not a scholar of ancient history, I do not have time to do a crash course in Wiki history, so I am constrained to writing from my fractured remembrances of high school history and just plain old general knowledge.

If I get a few dates and numbers wrong, and I fail to spell names correctly, you can put it down to my aging memory.

OK.

The Battle of Qadesh is probably the best documented battle of the ancient world, we know why it occurred, when it occurred, the outcomes, and the consequences.

In the Ancient World there was a group of countries that historians refer to as the "Great Powers Club", this "club" was made up of the major powers in The Levant, Mesopotamia and Anatolia, these powers were Egyptian Empire, Hittite Empire, Babylon, Assyria and Mitani.

The balance of power between the members of this "Club" went through cycles of change, they all wanted to expand their areas of influence and build their empires. A system of exchange of royal gifts developed, whereby the rulers would exchange gifts of things over which they had control. One of these gifts was women, who were from the royal line of one ruler, given as a wife to another ruler. Egyptian rulers refused to give women of their royal line to other rulers because royal Egyptian women were required as wives for their own Royal Egyptian brothers and other close relatives. However, the Egyptian Rulers were more than agreeable to accepting as wives the women from royal lines of other rulers.

This exchange of royal gifts was a part of diplomacy that took place in this part of the world, between these powers, at that time in history. If my memory is correct, contact between the Club members was mostly by letter, the language used was Arcadian, or maybe that is Akadian, I forget, but it was written in cuneiform.

Now, just because they were all in the same club did not mean that they necessarily got along with each other very well. It is convenient to think of the club members as including the Hittites, because everybody has heard of the Hittites, but the Hittites actually migrated into Anatolia and absorbed the Hatti, and then the Hatti as Hittites invaded the Mitrani , so by the time that the "Club" was functioning, the Mitrani were actually under the control of the Hittites.

I suspect that investigation might demonstrate that by the time Tushratta traded off his daughter to Amenhotep III, the Mitrani were already dancing the jig to a tune played by the Hatti/Hittites

The Hittites were a pretty aggressive people, and long before the battle of Qadesh they had been causing more than a little disquiet in the Eastern Mediterranean. When the Hatti/Hittite armies took over the Mitrani lands they also took over the Egyptian vassal states, or tributary states, of Amaru and Qadesh. This was the start of a war that lasted for a couple of hundred years. The Egyptians wanted the lands of Qadesh and Amaru back, the Hittites wanted to hang onto them, even though the original Hittite conquest of these places was only a by-product of a much larger action.

The peak of hostilities was the Battle of Qadesh, but it really didn't fix things, even when the treaty was accepted by both sides.

In fact, I was taught that what many people regard as a "peace treaty" was not really a peace treaty at all, but it was an agreement for Egypt and the Hittites to maintain a cordial alliance for mutual benefit. It appears this type of treaty was not uncommon in that part of the world at that time.

So --- yes, there was most definitely active diplomacy between the major powers of the Eastern Mediterranean during this period. As I have already remarked, I am not a scholar of ancient history, everything I have written above is just general knowledge, not specialist knowledge. Perhaps a specialist in the relevant branch of the study of history might be able to direct us to some written evidence of diplomatic ties between the members of the "Great Powers Club", but for me, the generally accepted position that there was active diplomacy present is sufficient:- if the people who are experts in this field tell me that there was active diplomacy between these Club members, I'm prepared to accept that.

This has been an interesting diversion, and I thank you David for making me stretch my memory and think hard enough to give me a headache, but whether there was diplomacy active or not, whether the KT dagger came from the Hittite court or from a Hittite vassal, it does not alter the fact that only Hittite technology could have produced this blade at that time in history.

And to get back to the Jambon hypothesis, was there sufficient meteoritic material available to make all those Hittite swords, tools, and jewellery out of meteorite? Seriously?
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Old 19th December 2017, 08:55 AM   #44
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Could it have been a battle pickup, trophy of Ramses II's 'Victory' that had lain in the Pharaonic armoury or been passed down? Like Charlemagne's sabre, the hilt having been cleaned, tarted up/repaired and otherwise 'updated' over time...

Soldiers have always admired and 'acquired' their enemy's weapons.
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Old 19th December 2017, 11:51 AM   #45
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Could it have been a battle pickup...



Unlikely to be a battle pick up. Whatever its source this would have been an extremely valuable and prized piece. I doubt if it would ever have been taken into battle, except perhaps by a ruler or senior royalty.
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Old 19th December 2017, 02:26 PM   #46
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Unlikely to be a battle pick up. Whatever its source this would have been an extremely valuable and prized piece. I doubt if it would ever have been taken into battle, except perhaps by a ruler or senior royalty.

...like the Pharaoh
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Old 19th December 2017, 03:23 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Could it have been a battle pickup, trophy of Ramses II's 'Victory' that had lain in the Pharaonic armoury or been passed down? Like Charlemagne's sabre, the hilt having been cleaned, tarted up/repaired and otherwise 'updated' over time...

Soldiers have always admired and 'acquired' their enemy's weapons.

While i think it is quite possible that it could have indeed been war booty (the entire handle could well have been added later as it is in Egyptian form and the Egyptians had prized iron objects and considered them "royal" for centuries before), but it could hardly be a trophy of Ramses II as that pharaoh cam almost a century AFTER Tutankhamun.
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Old 19th December 2017, 03:44 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I suspect that investigation might demonstrate that by the time Tushratta traded off his daughter to Amenhotep III, the Mitrani were already dancing the jig to a tune played by the Hatti/Hittites.

Actually no, the Mitanni forces were at this time very concerned about the Hittites which was why they were aligning themselves with Egypt and trying to arrange this marriage to cement it. It was not until after the death of both Amenhotep and Tushratta that the Hittite empire finally succeeded in overrunning the last holdings of the Mitanni kingdom. The Egyptians never did come to their aid, probably because of turmoil in there own house at the time. The Hittites finally installed Tushratta's brother on the Mitanni throne and i would image it was then that they began to dance the Hatti Jig.
Sorry if all this history is taxing your brain Alan, but if we want to attempt to understand or maybe even solve the mystery of this dagger in King Tut's tomb all this stuff kind of comes into play.
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Old 19th December 2017, 04:13 PM   #49
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I really don't know anything about forging, but I do have some afterthoughts..
On one hand, the Hittites had both iron and diplomatic relationship with the Egypt (truce was signed during Tut's reign), so that there certainly could have given iron blades as present to the pharaoh.
One the other hand, Egyptians had a centuries long tradition of working meteorite iron, as did other peoples in the Eastern Mediterranean.

However, this is all irrelevant, because analysis of the composition of the blade shows composition typical of meteorite iron (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutan...on_dagger_blade). As far as I know, such high nickel does not occur in normal iron ore and no ancient culture mined or smelted nickel. So, for me this case is closed.

Further, it is mentioned in the thread that early iron was not superior to bronze for tools. But another main advantage of iron has been missed here. Iron ore is much more common=cheaper than bronze, as it is today.
Lastly, the spread of iron working following the bronze-age collapse is discussed in the Old Testament. In Samuel, Saul complains that there are no lances an swords in Israel because the Philistines monopolize iron working. The Israelites have to go to Philistines, their enemies even to sharpen and mend their tools - plows, axes and spades are mentioned.
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Old 19th December 2017, 05:28 PM   #50
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While i think it is quite possible that it could have indeed been war booty (the entire handle could well have been added later as it is in Egyptian form and the Egyptians had prized iron objects and considered them "royal" for centuries before), but it could hardly be a trophy of Ramses II as that pharaoh cam almost a century AFTER Tutankhamen.


Correct, my memory of the Pharaonic succession sequence is incomplete, a mere 200 years in a few thousand is almost contemporary I seem to recall an earlier invasion of northern (lower) Egypt by 'Hittites' where they were eventually thrown out & the throne of upper & lower Egypt was united. I also recall the invaders were probably not the same 'Hittites' of later years, but Sea-people, possibly Minoan/atlantean (theran?). Floating around in my memory is contamination based on scorpions, over muscled wrestlers, one of which had a large yataghan, and sexy witches and snakes in jars, and not being able to catch an arrow... But that may be another story.
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Old 19th December 2017, 06:13 PM   #51
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Floating around in my memory is contamination based on scorpions, over muscled wrestlers, one of which had a large yataghan, and sexy witches and snakes in jars, and not being able to catch an arrow... But that may be another story.

LOL!
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Old 19th December 2017, 06:16 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by motan
On one hand, the Hittites had both iron and diplomatic relationship with the Egypt (truce was signed during Tut's reign), so that there certainly could have given iron blades as present to the pharaoh.

Can you tell us what truce was signed with the Hittites during Tut's reign?
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Old 19th December 2017, 10:39 PM   #53
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Sorry David, you are right, of course. I, like some others here, have mixed up my pharaohs. The treaty was signed in Ramses II's time, about 60-80 years later than Tutankhamun's reign. You got me there.
But the rest arguments are valid. There are several pre iron-age iron artifacts found in the Middle-East, India and China and not all of them can be identified as meteorite iron, but 10% or more Nickel in iron is difficult to explain in other way than meteorite origin, or do you have another explanation?
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Old 20th December 2017, 05:33 AM   #54
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Sorry David, you are right, of course. I, like some others here, have mixed up my pharaohs. The treaty was signed in Ramses II's time, about 60-80 years later than Tutankhamun's reign. You got me there.
But the rest arguments are valid. There are several pre iron-age iron artifacts found in the Middle-East, India and China and not all of them can be identified as meteorite iron, but 10% or more Nickel in iron is difficult to explain in other way than meteorite origin, or do you have another explanation?

Well Motan, i'm not suggesting any explanations here, only looking for something more than speculation and conjecture that might help solve some of these mysteries. Alan has put forth that the KT must have originated from the Hittites, that there is no other possibility. I remain a little more open to the question. He also has suggested that the testing process that has identified this blade as meteorite could be flawed. I tend to agree that this testing processes isn't fool proof. So maybe the blade is meteorite and maybe it is not. If it is not i think that Alan is probably right, the Hittites were really the only group that had the technology to smelt iron and make a blade from terrestrial iron at this time. If indeed the KT blade is terrestrial then it may have come to KT threw various avenues. I am not convinced that the diplomacy existed between these two great powers at that time that the Hittites themselves would have gifted it to the pharaoh directly, but it may have come indirectly to the Egyptian court. However, if the blade actually is meteorite i am also not convinced that the Egyptians couldn't have made it themselves since apparently meteorite can be forged without being smelted and the Egyptians had been working with meteorite for almost 2000 years before the time of Tutankhamun. So this is a metal that they were familiar working with and highly valued. Could the Egyptian have created the KT dagger on their own? I would not count that possibility out even if i do believe it is more likely to have a Hittite origin.
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Old 20th December 2017, 07:01 AM   #55
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Hi David, I don"t want this to become too lengthy, but still..
Diplomatic relation between Hatti and Egypt certainly existed around that time. Suppiluliuma I, the contemporary Hittite king, wanted to wed his son to Tutankhamun's widow, but the boy died before it happened. The Hittite wanted a front against common enemies like the Hurrians and Mittani.
Since the advent of the New Kingdom in Egypt, Pharaohs have been campaigning in Syria, Canaan and Lebanon, where they must have met with the Hettites in battle. They could obtain iron blades from the slain or captures.

Anyway, I am a scientist by training, so if there are lab results, I believe them at least until the next results. Is this 100% sure? Of course not, but it is real evidence and you need real evidence to refute it,
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:27 AM   #56
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There are several things I would like to address in these last few posts, and I'll make it as quick as I can.

Is the KT dagger meteoritic material?
If it is truly 10% nickel as Motan advises, it is virtually certain to be of meteoritic origin. Perhaps Motan has read the entire report, I would have liked to, but I baulked at paying to do so.

Does an x-ray examination of a piece of forged and welded ferric material prove that it is of meteoritic origin?
In my opinion no, but it does present a strong hypothesis that appears to be ready to be developed into a theory, at which point it can be attacked and defended.
Please note:- at this time I am not in any way attempting to refute Jambon's findings, but I have been a professional doubter for so long that I tend to very often doubt things that others take at face value.

Was the KT dagger blade made by Hittites, or by some other people?
Prior to the time of KT's death only the Hittites possessed the technology to make this dagger blade.
This technology most definitely did not exist in Egypt until about 600 years after the death of KT. This is not my opinion, it is the opinion of historians who are expert in this field, as just a little research will confirm.

Is it at all possible that the KT dagger blade might have been made in Egypt?
No, it is not.
Meteoritic material had been cold forged in Egypt for a long time prior to KT's death, however, Egypt's metal technology rested firmly on its pottery technology:- the fires used to make pottery were hot enough to smelt and forge copper & tin, but they were a very long way short of being hot enough to weld ferric material. The Hittites did learn how to build forges hot enough to weld ferric material, and it is a very short step from welding ferric material to smelting ferric material. To hot work meteoritic material you need to be able to generate weld temperatures in your forge.

How did KT come into possession of this dagger?
I have absolutely no idea, and I prefer not to engage in speculation.

Did diplomacy exist between Egypt and the Hittite nation?
Beyond doubt, yes, it did.
In fact it existed between all members of the "Great Powers Club"
It existed in several forms, but principally in the system that involved the exchange of gifts, including women to be used as wives for rulers.
This diplomacy is well documented, again, research will confirm this.

Was the gift of King Tushratta's daughter an act that was forced upon him in an effort to improve his alliance with Egypt?
Yes, it was.
Tushratta's sister was already one of Amenhotep's wives, and had been so for about 15 years at the time KT gifted his daughter to Amenhotep. The alliance was already in place, but KT was not prepared for conflict with the Hittites, so he gifted his daughter to Amenhotep because he thought he would need assistance before long. I think David said something similar in one of his posts.

Amenhotep III reigned 1386BC - 1353BC
Tushratta reigned 1382BC - 1342BC
Suppiluliumas reigned 1344BC - 1322BC

Prior to Suppililiumas becoming the Hittite ruler, the Mitani had been stronger than the Hatti (ie, Hittites), however once King Suppi took the throne things changed. There was a mere two year overlap in the beginning of King Suppi's reign and the end of King Tush's reign.
King Tush gifted his daughter Tadukhipa to Amenhotep only a couple of years before KT himself was murdered by his son.
Why did he gift his daughter?
He was forced to do so because of the actions of King Suppi.
When a person is forced to act in a particular way by the actions of another person, it is said that he is "dancing to so & so's tune".

My earlier comment :-
" I suspect that investigation might demonstrate that by the time Tushratta traded off his daughter to Amenhotep III, the Mitrani were already dancing the jig to a tune played by the Hatti/Hittites"
has indeed been proven to be correct.

It does not require conquest to cause somebody to dance to the tune of another, all it requires is for the person who is playing the tune to exert sufficient pressure to make the other dance.

Most of the above is the result of google searches. I ran out of memory, and in the case of some things I simply did not have the necessary knowledge.

What is the difference between meteoritic iron and terrestrial iron?
Meteoritic iron is already in a solid form ready for use. I have worked with it, and if I had had sufficient of the stuff I could easily have produced a blade from it. Some iron meteorites contain nickel in relatively high percentages.

Terrestrial iron ores need to be reduced to turn them into usable material. Iron rusts, which means it combines with moisture, so before terrestrial iron ores can be worked they need to have the moisture removed from the ore, this is what the smelting process does, it removes moisture and produces a solid lump of material called a bloom. This bloom can then be worked in a forge.
Smelting can be used with any ferric raw material, including meteoritic material.
However, in the case of meteoritic material, and also limonite, forge processing is also possible, which is not the case with haematite. Haematite is probably the most prolific source of iron. I doubt that haematite is found in combination with nickel, but limonite is found in combination with nickel, and also with cobalt, however the nickel percentage in limonite is far less than is usual in an iron-nickel meteorite.

This brings us back to the KT dagger:- if the nickel in that blade is 10% it is almost certainly meteoritic.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:47 PM   #57
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Thank you A.G.Maisey for the comprehensive review and I would not think of saying anything against it. I mean that seriously and without (iron)y.
It actually supports most of the points I have made in my few posts to this thread.
My first point was that I believe the dagger/sword is made of meteorite iron, but I don't understand how they worked it because they didn't fully control forging iron (until much later).
Second, that there were both gift exchange and battles between Egypt and Hatti in this period, so theoretically, there was plenty of opportunity to get a blade made by Hittites, certainly for the pharaoh of Egypt.
Third, and we may not agree on that one, as bad a source as Wiki can be at times, I do not think they cited the numbers wrongly from a scientific paper and I tend to believe the numbers: 11% nickel and 0.6 cobalt, even without reading the original paper.
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Old 20th December 2017, 01:41 PM   #58
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Hi David, I don"t want this to become too lengthy, but still..
Diplomatic relation between Hatti and Egypt certainly existed around that time. Suppiluliuma I, the contemporary Hittite king, wanted to wed his son to Tutankhamun's widow, but the boy died before it happened. The Hittite wanted a front against common enemies like the Hurrians and Mittani.

I believe i mentioned this before. But it was Tut's widow who instigated this conversation, not the other way around, as she was worried about what would happen and who she would be married off to after the death of Tut. This was considered an "unprecedented" move at the time. Yes, i am sure this would have been considered advantageous by Suppiluliuma at the time, but it was not his idea.
People keep talking about diplomacy between the Eqypt and the Hittites during King Tutankhamen's rule, but i have yet to see any evidence of that, "Great Power Club" not withstanding. Yes, i don't doubt that other pharaohs may have had such diplomatic relations with the Hittite, but we are trying to determine how this dagger ended up in Tut's tomb, not the tomb of any other pharaoh.
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Old 20th December 2017, 02:00 PM   #59
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Well Alan, i am glad i could be of some assistance in allowing you to brush up on your Egyptian history. Hopefully it wasn't too painful for you in the end, but it does seem pertinent to the question at hand.
I won't press you much more on it, but while i do agree with most of what you wrote i do have a couple of questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Did diplomacy exist between Egypt and the Hittite nation?
Beyond doubt, yes, it did.
In fact it existed between all members of the "Great Powers Club"
It existed in several forms, but principally in the system that involved the exchange of gifts, including women to be used as wives for rulers.
This diplomacy is well documented, again, research will confirm this.

If this is the case, can someone please point me to the well documented diplomacy that existed between Tutankhamen's court and that of the Hittite. KT's court mind you, not his predecessors or any pharaoh who followed him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
King Tush gifted his daughter Tadukhipa to Amenhotep only a couple of years before KT himself was murdered by his son.

I am assuming this was a typo. You have all through this conversation been abbreviating King Tutankhamen as KT. Surely you did not mean to say that KT was killed by his son since he did not have any sons, or any children that lived for that matter. Tushratta was apparently killed by a grouped led by one of his sons. Can i assume that is what you meant to say?
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Old 20th December 2017, 09:58 PM   #60
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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.
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