10:10 21 August 2013
Researchers, who have studied the space rocks found in UCL Petrie museum revealed that the ancient Egyptian jewellery that were produced 5,000 years ago, were made from pieces of meteorites, a new study says. The study concludes that this jewellery was made 2,000 years before iron smelting was known to the human race.
Prof Thilo Rehren, the lead author of the study and an archaeologist from University College London, explained: “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.”
He added: “The really exciting outcome of this research is that we were for the first time able to demonstrate conclusively that there are typical trace elements such as cobalt and germanium present in these beads, at levels that only occur in meteoritic iron.”
“We are also excited to be able to see the internal structure of the beads, revealing how they were rolled and hammered into form. This is very different technology from the usual stone bead drilling, and shows quite an advanced understanding of how the metal smiths worked this rather difficult material.”
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