Saturday, August 24, 2013


BEADS discovered on an Ancient Egyptian necklace that was first excavated in 1911 have finally been confirmed as being made from space rock ... proving at last that the Egyptians considered meteorite ore to be on a par with gold and gemstones.

Researchers from the University College London
's Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology conducted detailed analysis of the necklace using gamma rays and have been able to prove that the beads, originally believed to be made from iron, were in fact created using fragments of meteorites.

The analysis is also the first time scientists have been able to assess how the beads were formed and it is thought that the Egyptians used the technique of smithing and rolling, which involved hammering the rock several times until it could be flattened and then rolled to form the bead-shaped tubes.

Egyptologists from the Open University first scanned beads found in a pre-dynastic cemetery near the village of el-Gerzeh, in Lower Egypt in May, using scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography.

It is the first time researchers have been able to study the internal structure of the beads to reveal how they were created - showing an advanced knowledge and skill of metal work.

The discovery additionally unearths a glimpse of the genesis of the ancient Egyptians' religion and the divine attributes they attached to meteorites.

"The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians," said Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper on the discovery.

"Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods," she said.

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