King Tutankhamen (or plain old Tut) has always fascinated me, so I was very excited when I heard the other-worldly news about his ceremonial dagger. The extra-terrestrial origin of the metal from which the weapon is made has been firmly established by scientists now. And as they say, good news comes in threes. So just look at these two other discoveries found lately. Stonehenge's construction mystery has been solved, and some incredibly fascinating cave paintings from pre-historic times have been found. Well done discoverers!
X-Ray analysis of this beautiful dagger, belonging to and buried beside the boy king, reveals its make-up to be mostly iron with nickel and cobalt. This combination proved to researchers that it must have originated in outer-space, from an iron-meteorite. This has been linked to the knowledge that Ancient Egyptians (around the time of King Tut, c.1300 BC) began using a hieroglyphic - the priestly writing system - which meant 'iron of the sky.'
Once they were certain of its meteorite origins, researchers checked ancient Egyptian records for specific meteorite falls, and finally found a single one - the Kharga meteorite, which was found in 2000 near Alexandria, Egypt.
It has taken 3,500 years to solve the mystery of the boy king's dagger, but to me that only makes the discovery more special. Plus I get to imagine how Godly they must have viewed this other-worldly metal rock, that they ornately fabricated a regal weapon for their sacred pharaoh. Just consider how important this dagger must have been.
What site in all of Europe is more mysterious than Stonehenge, that great circular arrangement of megaliths that attract so many fantastical theories? It seems to have been built between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, and people have often wondered how. The giant 30-40 'sarsen' sandstones, though, are not the stones that most perplex experts, since their origin has been established as local. The smaller bluestones, however, can only be found in distant Wales. And now we know how they were transported all the way to England.
Pictured below is the actual quarry where some of these stones came from, Craig Rhos-y-felin. This is around 140 miles from Stonhenge's location in Wiltshire. Yet using a sycamore sleigh, members of a team of UCL researches in England, were able in a group of 10 to drag a similar stone along timbers laid down.
They calculated that with 10 (or possibly 20 people for larger stones), they could move the stones at 1mph, pulling constantly. The researchers have already concluded that the log-sleigh procedure would present no difficulty over rough or steep terrain, so they are very close to having a complete picture. What only remains is to find out how long it might have taken the ancients to complete the task. So, that is another ancient mystery essentially solved.
3. Beautiful & Mysterious Ancient Cave Art Discovered!
Art is one of man's gifts, something he - above every other life forms - has been endowed with and has given back to the world he came from. And man has practiced art for so long a time: witness these stunning examples just now uncovered 1000 feet underground in the Atxurra caves from the Basque Country (Spain). The caves have been known about since 1929, but the paintings are (good) breaking news.
Perhaps dating back 12-15,000 years old these images of horses, buffalo, goats and deer really get me wondering: Why did mankind draw these animals? Why did they hide them so deep in the belly of the earth? Perhaps, it is said, they were some kind of ritual meeting place: therefore the site has been named a 'sanctuary' by archaeologists.
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