Sponsored by: Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
Victoria Almansa-Villatoro, Junior Research Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows
In ancient Egypt, iron harvested from meteorites was used to create ritual objects associated with royalty and power. An iron dagger from the tomb of King Tutankhamun is one of the oldest Egyptian objects verified to be of meteoritic origin. In this lecture, Almansa-Villatoro will discuss Egyptian texts, iconography, and religious writings that associate iron with the sky and stars, indicating that ancient Egyptians were aware that meteorites came from space. This knowledge—most likely shared with other ancient civilizations that connected iron and sky in their texts—was lost in modern times, as it was only until the eighteenth century that meteorites were confirmed to be of extraterrestrial origin.
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