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Tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, approximately 3300 BCE, represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt. Using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and micro X-ray microcomputer tomography, we show that microstructural and chemical analysis of a Gerzeh iron bead is consistent with a cold-worked iron meteorite.

Tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, approximately 3300 BCE, represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt. Using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and micro X-ray microcomputer tomography, we show that microstructural and chemical analysis of a Gerzeh iron bead is consistent with a cold-worked iron meteorite.

Earliest known iron artefacts come from outer space. Turns out that Egyptian iron beads come from meteorite pieces and not iron ore. The objects predate iron smelting by two millennia. The beads come from el_Gerzeh in Lower Egypt and found in 1911.

Ancient Egyptian beads found in a tomb were made from iron meteorites that fell to Earth from space, according to a new study. The beads, which are the oldest known iron artifacts in the world, were crafted roughly years before Egypt's Iron Age.

An ancient Egyptian iron bead found inside a 5,000-year-old tomb was crafted from a meteorite, new research shows.  The tube-shaped piece of jewelry was first discovered in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, roughly 40 miles south of Cairo. Dating between 3350 B.C. and 3600 B.C., beads found at the burial site represent the first known examples of iron use in ancient Egypt, thousands of years before Egypt's Iron Age. And their cosmic origins were suspected from the start.

Ancient Egyptians made jewelry from meteorites

An ancient Egyptian iron bead found inside a tomb was crafted from a meteorite, new research shows. The tube-shaped piece of jewelry was first discovered in 1911 at the Gerzeh cemetery, roughly 40 miles kilometers) south of.

5,000-Year-Old Egyptian Artifacts Made from Meteoritic Iron, Confirms New Study Aug 20, 2013 Three iron beads from Gerzeh, Egypt (© Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology / Gianluca Miniaci).

Egyptian Artifacts Made from Meteoritic Iron, Confirms New Study Aug 2013 Three iron beads from Gerzeh, Egypt (© Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology / Gianluca Miniaci).

In ancient Egypt, iron was a rare and symbolic metal, but scientists and historians have long wondered about the prehistoric civilization’s knowledge of metallurgy. Now, one part of that mystery has been solved: The oldest-known iron artifacts were made from meteorites. The evidence comes in the form of iron beads from approximately 3300 B.C., more than 2,000 years before the Iron Age in Egypt, and before there is record of trade in iron goods with other civilizations.

Jewelry From Outer Space: Ancient Egyptians Accessorized With Meteorites The Gerzeh bead is the earliest discovered use of iron by the ancient Egyptians.

Iron in Egyptian relics came from space. The 5,000-year-old iron bead might not look like much, but it hides a spectacular past: researchers have found that an ancient Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite.

Iron in Egyptian Relics Came from Space Meteorite impacts thousands of years ago may have helped to inspire ancient religion The Gerzeh bead (top) has nickel-rich areas, coloured blue on a virtual model (bottom), that indicate a meteoritic origin.

University of Manchester researchers say in journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science that believe ancient Egyptians used meteorites to make accessories. In 1911, archaeologists dug up strings of iron beads at the Gerzeh cemetery, about 43 miles south of Cairo. The Gerzeh bead is the earliest discovered use of iron by the Egyptians, dating back from 3350 to 3600 BC. The bead was originally thought to be from a meteorite based on its composition of nickel-rich iron,

Researchers wrote in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science that they found proof that ancient Egyptians used meteorites to make accessories.

Gerzeh Tomb 67 "The head appeared to be severed from the body, as it was standing on its base, and a neck vertebra was found some distance out of place between the shoulders;  yet the valuable necklace of gold, iron, carnelian, and agate beads was left round the neck.  Had a plunderer been feeling round the neck it is highly improbable that he should miss the necklace, and disturb only one vertebra, leaving all the others in their places..." (Wainwright in Petrie/Wainwright/Mackay 1912)

Gerzeh Tomb 67 "The head appeared to be severed from the body, as it was standing on its base, and a neck vertebra was found some distance out of place between the shoulders; yet the valuable necklace of gold, iron, carnelian, and agate beads was left round the neck. Had a plunderer been feeling round the neck it is highly improbable that he should miss the necklace, and disturb only one vertebra, leaving all the others in their places..." (Wainwright in Petrie/Wainwright/Mackay 1912)

Gerzeh-Iron-Bead.jpg (1024×680)

Gerzeh-Iron-Bead.jpg (1024×680)

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