King Tut's dagger was forged from a meteorite.

King Tut's dagger was forged from a meteorite.

Since the 1960s the high nickel content in the blade has been accepted as indicative of meteoric origin.[1] A more recent study published in June 2016 derived from x-ray fluorescence spectrometer analysis show that the blade’s composition is mostly iron (Fe) and 11% nickel (Ni) and 0.6% cobalt (Co). This means its composition is placed within the median of a group of 76 previously discovered iron meteorites. "The nickel content in the bulk metal of most iron meteorites ranges from 5% to 35%, whereas it never exceeds 4% in historical iron artifacts from terrestrial ores produced before the 19th Century."[2] Also, the nickel to cobalt ratio of this blade is comparable to iron meteorite materials.[2]

At the time of King Tutankhamun’s mummification in approximately 1323 BCE (the Bronze Age), iron smelting and manufacture was rare. Iron objects were used for only artistic, ornamental, ritual, gift giving and ceremonial purposes as well as for pigmentation.[2][3] Hence, iron during this age was apprised as more valuable or precious than gold. Iron artifacts were given as royal gifts during the period directly preceding Tutankhamun's rule, i.e., during the reign of Amenhotep III.[2][3][4][5][6]