Bronze Age iron

What's your artifact doing in Boss Kean's ditch?
User avatar
Witness
Posts: 16023
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm
Has thanked: 1928 times
Been thanked: 2619 times

Bronze Age iron

Post by Witness » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:42 am

CNRS wrote:Bronze Age artifacts used meteoric iron

You may already be surprised to hear there are iron objects dating back to the Bronze Age, but their meteorite origin is even more astonishing. Though meteorites had already been recognized as one source of this metal, the scientific community couldn't determine whether they accounted for most or simply a few Bronze Age iron artifacts. Albert Jambon, as part of his work at the Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie (CNRS / UPMC / IRD / Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle),1 has demonstrated that iron used during the Bronze Age is always meteoric and he explained how this practice was abandoned during the Iron Age. His work is published in the December 2017 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The Iron Age began in Anatolia and the Caucasus around 1200 BCE. But nearly 2,000 years earlier, various cultures were already fashioning objects out of iron. These items were extremely rare and always greatly treasured. Iron ore abounds on the Earth's surface. So what made these artifacts so valuable? Initial research had shown that some were made with iron from meteorites, which led scientists to wonder how many others were. Albert Jambon gathered the available data and conducted his own nondestructive chemical analyses of samples using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. His collection of iron artifacts includes beads from Gerzeh (Egypt, −3200 BCE); a dagger from Alaca Höyük (Turkey, −2500 BCE); a pendant from Umm el-Marra (Syria, −2300 BCE); an axe from Ugarit (Syria, −1400 BCE) and several others from the Shang dynasty civilization (China, −1400 BCE); and the dagger, bracelet, and headrest of Tutankhamen (Egypt, −1350 BCE).
http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/3039.htm

User avatar
Fid
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 3:45 pm
Location: The island of Atlanta
Has thanked: 610 times
Been thanked: 141 times

Re: Bronze Age iron

Post by Fid » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:14 am

I was under the impression (20 ish years ago) that iron meteorites had a hefty addition of nickel which would not lend them to being wrought. Perhaps our resident armourer ed could help out here?
"Try SCE to AUX."
Yeah, me and an electrified atmosphere ain't friends.

User avatar
Witness
Posts: 16023
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm
Has thanked: 1928 times
Been thanked: 2619 times

Re: Bronze Age iron

Post by Witness » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:54 am

↑ Good point.

Partial answer:
Forbes wrote:Tutankhamun, pharaoh from 1332 to 1323 BC, possessed a 34cm long dagger made of iron and decorated with gold. The dagger had been discovered in the 1925 unwrapping of Tutankhamun's mummy, but at the time it was not possible to analyze the iron without damaging the dagger.

A preliminary non destructive analysis performed in 1970 with X-rays showed a slightly higher concentration of nickel, suggesting that the dagger was made from extraterrestrial metal. The perfect quality of the blade also suggested that it was made of the fine-crystallized metal found in some types of meteorites. A homogenous metal without imperfections or impurities is easier to handle and hammer into the desired form.

A more accurate analysis, measuring how the metal reacts to a bombardment of X-rays, with modern equipment has now published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science. The results show that the dagger consists of a very pure iron-nickel alloy with traces of cobalt. The chemical composition matches those iron meteorites recovered in the Egyptian locality of Kharga, possibly the nearest source of the precious metal at Tutankhamun's time.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbress ... 56bb8d1d61

And this:

Image
http://www.meteorite.fr/en/classification/ironmain.htm