A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Meteoritic Iron Detected in Bronze Age Items From Spain
Friday, February 9, 2024
MADRID, SPAIN—El País reports that mass spectrometery analysis of two artifacts from eastern Spain’s Treasure of Villena, conducted by Salvadore Rovira-Llorens of Spain’s National Archaeological Museum, Martina Renzi of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority of Saudi Arabia, and Ignacio Montero-Ruiz of the Institute of History at the Spanish Research Council, suggests that they were crafted with iron from a meteorite sometime in the Late Bronze Age, between 1400 and 1200 B.C. Meteoritic iron can be identified because it contains more nickel than terrestrial iron, and it can contain traces of other elements such as cobalt as well. The first iron artifact, which is decorated with gold, is thought to be the pommel of a sword hilt. The second object is a C-shaped bracelet, now heavily corroded. “These two pieces of iron had enormous value,” Montero Ruiz said. “Who manufactured them and where this material was obtained are still questions that remain to be answered,” he concluded. To read about a piece of Libyan Desert glass found in Tutankhamun's tomb that was formed by a meteorite impact, go to "Scarab From Space."
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