The meteoritic origin of Tutankhamun’s iron dagger blade

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Republication from Wiley O.Library


Tut's meteoritic  dagger

Tutankhamun’s iron dagger


Scholars have long discussed the introduction and spread of iron metallurgy in different civilizations. The sporadic use of iron has been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean area from the late Neolithic period to the Bronze Age. Despite the rare existence of smelted iron, it is generally assumed that early iron objects were produced from meteoritic iron. Nevertheless, the methods of working the metal, its use, and diffusion are contentious issues compromised by lack of detailed analysis. Since its discovery in 1925, the meteoritic origin of the iron dagger blade from the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun (14th C. BCE) has been the subject of debate and previous analyses yielded controversial results.



On the Warfare in Ancient Israel and the Importance of Iron

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Philistine swords and daggers.


Modern reconstruction of Phillistine and Canaanite battle-axes (images added by  periklisdeligiannis.wordpress.com).


Republication from Article Myriad


The general history of ancient Israel is, by its very nature, somewhat challenging to piece together, as the written and archaeological record is fragmentary (DeVaux & McHugh 213; Miller & Hayes 19). The limited information that is available is sourced primarily from religious texts, and the metaphorical and interpretive nature of these writings creates difficulties in establishing the accuracy of the stories as historical fact (DeVaux & McHugh 241). The same difficulties are confronted when studying the military history of ancient Israel. As DeVaux and McHugh wrote, “the very words used for military equipment are far from precise, and their meaning is often uncertain” (241). In addition, the traditional sources that are used to corroborate historical interpretations, such as archaeology, have not been helpful in terms of expanding historians’ knowledge of ancient military history in Israel.




By  Periklis    Deligiannis


An  excellent  depiction (by  Igor Dzis)  of  the sea  battle  against  the  Sea  Peoples,  in  the  Nile  Delta (Copyright: Igor Dzis 2010)


The  ‘Sea  Peoples’  (as  mentioned  in  Egyptian  and  Greek  Records – in  the  later  as  Pelasgoi, meaning  exactly  ‘Sea  People’)  was  a  tribal  union  of  the  Aegean  and  western  Asia  Minor,  whose  invasions  in  the  eastern  Mediterranean  around  1229-1187  BC  caused  destruction  of  cities,  states  and  empires  (Hittite  Empire)  and  countless  victims.  Shortly  after  the  destruction  of  Troy  VI  (almost  certainly  the  Homeric  Troy)  by  the  Achaeans (Mycenaeans),  probably  in  the  middle  13th  century  BC,  began  the  disintegration  of  the  Mycenaean  world  because  of  the  prevailing  famine  and  anarchy.  These  conditions  are  due  to  broader  socioeconomic,  political,  commercial  and  climatic  causes,  occurring  in  Asia  Minor  probably  earlier  than  the  Mycenaean  territories.  The  impressive  palaces  of  Mycenae,  Pylos  and  other  Mycenaean  citadels  belong  mainly  to  the  13th  century  BC,  giving  a  false  image  of  prosperity  for  them.  Nevertheless  it  was  a  period  of  decline  for  the  Mycenaeans,  as  shown  by  the  archaeological  findings.

The  Achaean  kings  (wanaktae)  were facing  financial  problems  as  their  factories  were producing  about  half  the  products  compared  with  the  production  of  the  14th  century  BC.  They  lacked  skilled  craftsmen  and  slaves,  although  their  territories  were  been plagued  by  overcrowding.  The  commercial  sea  routes  that  they  used  were  becoming  more  and  more  insecure,  due  to  the  increasing  piracy  and  raids,  and  their  savings  had been ‘evaporated’.  The  monarchs  and  aristocrats  were  forced  to  seek  new  areas  for  raw  materials,  new  resources,  laborers  and  slaves,  probably  lands  for  colonization,  to  plunder  the  goods  of  other  countries  and  to  discover  new  trading  routes.  So  they  destroyed  Troy,  but  soon  after  they  had  to  abandon  Greece  en  masse,  due  to  the  final  failure.  The  Achaean/Mycenaean  and  other  Aegean  navigators  who  suffered  this  politico-economic  collapse,  turned  to  the  open  sea,  and  became  the  famous  Sea  Peoples  already  from  the  first  half  of  the  13th  cent.  BC.  The  British  archaeologist  Elizabeth  French (University  of  Manchester),  suggested  that  Tiryns  in  Argolis,  the  last  Mycenaean  palace  that  was  abandoned  by  its  inhabitants (except  Athens),  was  the  base  of  the  Sea  Peoples.  She  supported  her  theory  on  the  archaeological  conclusion  that  Tiryns  had  experienced  its  greatest  prosperity  (about  1200  BC)  when  the  other  Mycenaean  citadels  had  already  turned  to  ruins  or  ‘lingered  out  their  lives’.  In  my  opinion,  Tiryns  was  probably  the  base  of  the  two  tribes  that  probably  gave  rise  to  the  Later  ‘wave’  of  the  Sea  Peoples,  i.e.  the  Peleset/Philistines  (Peleset/Pulasti  in  Egyptian,  Pelasgians  in  Greek)  and  Denyen/Danuna (most  probably  the  Greek  Danaans).