[meteorite-list] Nickel-iron meteorite used to make 5, 000 year old Egyptian beads

From: Robin Whittle <rw_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 14:11:16 +1000
Message-ID: <51A6D164.3020009_at_firstpr.com.au>

The article:


reports on an article behind a paywall:

  Analysis of a prehistoric Egyptian iron bead with implications for
  the use and perception of meteorite iron in ancient Egypt

    Diane Johnson, Joyce Tyldesley, Tristan Lowe, Philip J. Withers,
    Monica M. Grady.

    Meteoritics & Planetary Science online: 20 May 2013
    DOI: 10.1111/maps.12120



    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. Thin
    fragments of parallel bands of taenite within a meteoritic
    Widmanst?tten pattern are present, with structural distortion
    caused by cold-working. The metal fragments retain their original
    chemistry of approximately 30 wt% nickel. The bulk of the bead is
    highly oxidized, with only approximately 2.4% of the total bead
    volume remaining as metal. Our results show that the first known
    example of the use of iron in Egypt was produced from a meteorite,
    its celestial origin having implications for both the perception of
    meteorite iron by ancient Egyptians and the development of
    metallurgical knowledge in the Nile Valley.

The Nature write-up includes a quote from a museum creator that "during
the time of the Pharaohs, the gods were believed to have bones made of

  - Robin
Received on Thu 30 May 2013 12:11:16 AM PDT

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