King Tut's dagger was forged from meteorite


#1

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#2

Or you know, they noticed it produced higher quality end products than the iron and bronze normally available. Occam’s razor and all that.


#3

Sure, but everybody knows that Ra provides the best metals. Trust Osiris for metals? Come on!


#4

Occam had a RAZOR made out of a meteorite? Cool!


#5

/me looks for @khepra to pop up here…


#6

Oh I dearly hope not.


#7

#8

Exactamundo.
They valued meteoric iron because it was the only iron that they had access to.

Iron was a metal of mythical character. It was called the 'metal of heaven', because Egyptians knew it mainly from meteoric iron. Iron deposits in Egypt were not worked before the Late or Greco-Roman periods.The earliest iron smelting places in Egypt were found at Naukratis and Defenna. Early iron comes highly likely from meteoric iron. Iron production requires temperatures from 1100-1150 °C (the same as for copper smelting). Iron objects appear very sporadically since Naqada III in Egypt. In Egypt iron comes into common usage only from about 500 BC. The normal way to treat iron is to hammer it. Cast iron was not common.
Metal in Egypt

#9

Well, yeah, it kind of goes both ways.

The metal falls from the sky, the Balinese, Javanese, Egyptians, and many other cultures forge the metal into blades, the blades are exceptional because they are made from meteoritic nickel-iron that nobody knows how to make yet, and thus the sky is the source of exceptional things, and round and round we go… you can stop at the chicken (the sky is magic because exceptional things fall out of it) or at the egg (the blades are magic because they are made from metal that fell from the sky) but where you decide to stop is really up to the interpreter, both in the past and in the present.


#10

[quote]The study shows the ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects, possibly perceiving those chunks of iron falling from the sky as a divine message.[/quote]Ha ha, we would never do something like that. The D20s don’t count.


#11

Biggest regret of not spending money irresponsibly:

A nice letter opener made from a meteorite in Colorado. It was a Damascus steel type forged one.


#12

Careful. Vandal Savage will want that back.

As in actual Damascus steel or just with the wavy pattern to make it look like Damascus steel? Cool either way, but real Damascus steel would be very valuable.


#13

Oh neat. I knew meteoric iron was found in Egyptian necklace beads before, but this is a nice lump of the stuff. I’m fascinated how Egyptians were so into so many materials. Razors and sickles made of wood and sharpened stone kept being used throughout the Bronze Age there. The Egyptians were probably the best flintknappers in the world and I’m very impressed with what they could do with alabaster.


#14

Probably pattern-welded with a modern mild steel, rather than actual Damascus.

Burton tells of an ancient Egyptian bronze chisel with the metal so expertly packed that it could cut stone or soft iron.


#15

I forget: does this make it a +2 or a +3 magic weapon, then?


#16

I guess the term is “pattern welded” - the folding of different types of steel to create a pattern in the steel, and able to blend properties of the two steels. True Damascus steel is vintage steel from Damascus, and technically their methods were lost. But modern smiths have seemed to recreated their methods. Modern Smiths have created similar steels, but still haven’t cracked the exact methods. I have have a hand made dagger and somewhere I have it written down how many folds and types of steel used.

The iron was from an AZ meteor, IIRC, whose parts were at one time pretty common to find.


#17

Still, would’ve been a nice collector’s piece. I just thought if it was a real antique it would be worth a small fortune by now. I’ve seen reproduction Damascus steel, but I’ve also seen blades that were just heat treated to make them look pattern welded.

If it makes you feel any better, I recently passed up a piece of 17th century jade carving because I couldn’t justify the expense. Sort of wished I’d pulled the trigger.


#18

See something like that I’d be afraid of a fake…


#19

Me too. But it was from a jeweler I’ve known for years who uses a reputable third party professional appraiser I’ve used myself. Nine times out of ten, something like that would be fake. Although fake blades are pretty common too, especially swords and daggers. That’s why even though I’ve been antiquing for years, most of my blades are new custom made pieces (many many good reputable bladesmiths working in the US these days that can make almost anything you want provided they can get the source materials). Too much chance of getting ripped off, even if you know what to look for, as there are a lot of superficially very good fakes that will pass muster on first or even second look.


#20

Sure, copper and bronze chisels cut stone and soft metal just fine. I always assumed these were work hardened rather than some phase change or heat treatment.