New From Scientific American 奇奇奇!古埃及珠寶所使用的材料,竟來自外太空!



Ancient Jewelry Had Extraterrestrial Origin

The metal in a set of 5,000-year-old Egyptian beads came from an iron meteorite.

From Scientific American
Sophie Bushwick reports

Iron is a great material for making tools. But the oldest known iron artifacts手工製品 were actually intended for decoration: nine Egyptian beads that date back to 3200 B.C. 西元前And now we know that this ancient jewelry has an even more impressive origin—the iron out of which it was crafted came from space外太空.

The metal cylinders筒狀物 were discovered in Egypt in 1911. To analyze the structure and chemical composition of the beads, researchers bombarded衝擊 them with neutrons中子 and gamma rays伽馬射線(以高能量的粒子或是放射能衝擊.) The tests revealed that the jewelry contained trace elements not present in Earthly ores礦石—but that are found in iron-rich meteorites富含鐵的隕石. The study is in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The meteoric metal was hammered flat 以榔頭槌至扁平and rolled into beads捲成珠形狀 more than 5,000 years ago. This date is some 1,500 years before the invention of smelting熔煉術. That technique made it possible for terrestrial iron地球上的鐵 to be shaped into tools, and to supplant取代 copper and bronze as civilization's metal of choice. The new finding shows that long before smelting revolutionized tool use, some humans were already iron men.



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