Ancient jewelry from space

Egyptians used metal from meteorites to make jewelry more than 5,000 years ago

By Stephen Ornes, 10:00 AM September 15, 2013


Ancient Egyptians decorated necklaces with beads made from meteorites (three beads in center). Credit: UCL Petrie/Rob Eagle

Jewelry in Ancient Egypt wasn’t just fancy: Some of it was out of this world!


That’s the conclusion of two groups of scientists studying iron beads from an ancient Egyptian necklace. They found that those beads were made out of metal mined from meteorites. And that creation was no easy feat: The alien iron first had to be heated and hammered into thin sheets, then rolled into cylindrical beads.


People in what is now Turkey began to make similar beads from soft metals like copper and gold abo...

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