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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Oldest Known Iron Jewelry Came From Space:

•, Nsikan Akpan, PhD
 The influence of extraterrestrial beings on ancient civilizations is often the stuff of science fiction movies and quack theories, but new archaeological findings from the University College London (UCL) show that alien objects may have spawned the Iron Age. The study was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

UCL researchers have discovered that nine ancient Egyptian beads, crafted and strung together over 5,000 years ago, contain traces of iron from meteors. The meteorites were set into a necklace with gold and gemstones, highlighting the high value of these otherworldly rocks.

The earth is bombarded with nearly 15,000 tons of meteroids each year, although most burn up in the atmosphere. Terrestial touchdown, such as with the Russian meteor crash in February, is an extremely rare event, making these beads even more exotic than once presumed.

"The shape of the beads was obtained by smithing and rolling, most likely involving multiple cycles of hammering, and not by the traditional stone-working techniques such as carving or drilling which were used for the other beads found in the same tomb," said lead author Thilo Rehren, a professor of archaeology at UCL's satellite campus in Qatar.