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Iron In Egyptian Relics Came From Space

timothy posted about a year ago | from the blaming-the-ancient-astronauts-for-everything dept.

Space 119

ananyo writes "Researchers have found that a 5,000-year-old Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite (abstract). The result explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion. The tube-shaped bead is one of nine found in 1911 in a cemetery at Gerzeh, around 70 kilometers south of Cairo. The cache dates from about 3,300 BC, making the beads the oldest known iron artifacts from Egypt. But the first evidence for iron smelting in ancient Egypt only appears in the archaeological record in the sixth century BC. Using scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography to analyze one of the beads, researchers found that the nickel content of this original metal was high — as much as 30% — suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Backing up this result, the team observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming."

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lies! (2)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year ago | (#43860065)

It was the lizard men!

Re:lies! (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43860621)

It was the lizard men!

The Tritonian Ring!

Re:lies! (2)

applematt84 (1135009) | about a year ago | (#43861361)

Lizard men who traveled through a Stargate!

Wait for it... (3, Funny)

chinton (151403) | about a year ago | (#43860121)

"Next on Ancient Aliens..." in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Wait for it... (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#43860297)

Evidence shows the ancient Egyptians were able to observe the "big bang".

Re:Wait for it... (1)

tonyx12 (926628) | about a year ago | (#43862235)

"But he points out that later on, during the time of the pharaohs, the gods were believed to have bones made of iron." Just like Wolverine!

Re:Wait for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863753)

Wolverine's bones were fused with Adamantium, not made of iron.

Re:Wait for it... (1)

tonyx12 (926628) | about a year ago | (#43864213)

Agreed, but this was before they were smelting metal.

Re:Wait for it... (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43864121)

"But he points out that later on, during the time of the pharaohs, the gods were believed to have bones made of iron."

Just like Wolverine!

Please turn in your geek card.

Re:Wait for it... (1)

Spritzer (950539) | about a year ago | (#43863937)

I'm not saying ancient Egyptians were aliens, but...

It is said... (5, Funny)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about a year ago | (#43860137)

That only the Egyptian women would search for and collect meteorites for such jewellery.

These "Iron Maidens" would run to the hills, locate a meteorite, perform a customary dance of death and return to their camps 2 minutes to midnight due to a widespread fear of the dark.

Re:It is said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860223)

ROTFLWDAM

Re:It is said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860357)

You forgot to mention the metorite fell from aces high ;).

Re:It is said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43864011)

Not to mention that these "Iron Maidens" came out of the shadows to run to the hills.

Re:It is said... (1)

stiggle (649614) | about a year ago | (#43860535)

Why did they have to become a Powerslave to the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son?

Re:It is said... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43861527)

Hah, the next thing you'll try to make us believe is that they were walking like Egyptians while doing so.

Re:It is said... (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | about a year ago | (#43862287)

Wasted years, but at least they were running free instead of wasting love back in the village.

Re:It is said... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about a year ago | (#43865481)

Alexander the Great felt the loneliness of the long distance runner, like a stranger in a strange land caught somewhere in time.

Re:It is said... (2)

laejoh (648921) | about a year ago | (#43864097)

No one knows who they were or what they were doing But their legacy remains Hewn into the living rock...

Re:It is said... (1)

tonyx12 (926628) | about a year ago | (#43864877)

...so that they can be back home for dinner with Iron Man (stark) who might be finally starting to be Afraid to shoot Strangers

Yeah, but (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | about a year ago | (#43860143)

...where did they get all that naquadah?

Re:Yeah, but (1)

DrStrange66 (654036) | about a year ago | (#43860393)

...where did they get all that naquadah?

Through the Chapa'Eye of course.

Amazing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860165)

The stone dropped from millions of miles away in the Solar System onto the land of a civilization that was relatively advanced for the time, so they developed it into jewelry that somehow survived 5,000 years before tourists arrived to deface it with grafitti.

Re:Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860577)

somehow survived 5,000 years before tourists arrived to deface it with grafitti.

Just wait another 1000 years and the graffiti will be a relic too. "Who knows Dr. Jones. In a thousand years even you may be worth something".

Re:Amazing (3, Funny)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year ago | (#43860971)

a civilization that was relatively advanced for the time

...then they undertook a huge involvement into religion...

Re:Amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862211)

...then they undertook a huge involvement into religion...

Fail. You need to read a book on Egyptian history.

Re:Amazing (5, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43863857)

Or perhaps you need to. One of the most disruptive periods socially and economically in ancient Egypt was the pharaoh Akhenaten's foray into monotheism (one of the first, if not the first) with Atenism. Hoards of resources were wasted on mammoth projects which were abandoned almost immediately after Akhenaten's death, and it would take generations to heal the damage of the schism which ultimately unseated the dynasty. Religion in Egypt has catalyzed both its greatest successes and failures, and it would behoove a wise student of history to study both and contrast them.

Re:Amazing (1)

tyrione (134248) | about a year ago | (#43864697)

Or perhaps you need to. One of the most disruptive periods socially and economically in ancient Egypt was the pharaoh Akhenaten's foray into monotheism (one of the first, if not the first) with Atenism. Hoards of resources were wasted on mammoth projects which were abandoned almost immediately after Akhenaten's death, and it would take generations to heal the damage of the schism which ultimately unseated the dynasty. Religion in Egypt has catalyzed both its greatest successes and failures, and it would behoove a wise student of history to study both and contrast them.

Then your argument should be that when they diverted from Polytheism to ill-fated Monotheism the great civilization sealed its fate.

Re:Amazing (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43864857)

Civilization doesn't turn on one axis. Egypt had decent periods after Amarna, indeed the consequent 19th dynasty that followed included Ramesses the Great. Good periods neither negate nor exculpate bad periods, but it does not follow that negative events necessarily beget more of the same, or no civilization could or would exist. There is always room for reversal of fortune in either direction.

Oh for crying out loud... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#43860173)

Dammit, O'Neill, we told you not to use that damn thing during Solar Flare activities. And tell Carter that the kitschy iron-bead jewelry is NOT part of her uniform!

Obligatory Stargate Reference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860197)

So, when do we get to see the Stargates?

Re:Obligatory Stargate Reference (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#43860367)

Only one was in Egypt, the other one was in Antarctica

In the grand scheme of things (3, Insightful)

mmcxii (1707574) | about a year ago | (#43860235)

Everthing on Earth came from space.

The idea that a civilization would use a rock that fell from space to make some trinkets doesn't seem too earth shaking to me.

Re:In the grand scheme of things (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860355)

Depending on the size of the rock, I would think it would actually be earth-shaking. Mostly at the time of landing.

Re:In the grand scheme of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863909)

Everthing on Earth came from space.
The idea that a civilization would use a rock that fell from space to make some trinkets doesn't seem too earth shaking to me.

It's not. The summary and the article are just being a bit overly sensational. It wasn't a "mystery", we just didn't have any really solid proof up 'till now.

Re:In the grand scheme of things (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#43863923)

Of course it isn't. That they had some means of smelting iron ore so early would be though.

Showing that these particular iron items aren't in fact evidence of that is useful information gathering.

Man oh man... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860239)

The Ancient Alien guys are going to be insufferable now.

Re:Man oh man... (1)

stefpe (256175) | about a year ago | (#43861897)

*Now*?

Obligatory (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#43860311)

*crazy hair*

"I'm not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens"

/crazy hair

Re:Obligatory (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | about a year ago | (#43860451)

It was the giant aliens.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861041)

No,no, no. This is definitive proof that the Egyptians could travel in space. Now we just need to figure out how to start the damned pyramids so we can fly to other planets.

Re:Obligatory (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about a year ago | (#43862143)

No, the pyramids are the landing platforms, not the ships.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about a year ago | (#43862005)

Weren't they Peruvian?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862261)

You jest and I chuckle...

But one can assume that if they new the gods came from space and they actively searched out rocks from space in veneration of these gods.

Might they not have been visited by the gods or observed them. To create this kind of veneration?

Then again, shiny lights from space is enough on its own. But how do they know that it was specifically meteorites they were looking for. That the shiny lights weren't something else...

One would assume they had some measure of knowledge to put two and two together.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43864033)

They were visited by the Gods.

Sometimes the Gods would reach out from the clouds to touch the ground. Later in history people called this "lightning".
Sometimes the Gods would just wander across the sky and not directly interact with the Earth. Later in history people called this "comets".

But sometimes the Gods would actually pay them a visit. They knew it was the gods because they would see the Glory of their Wonder manifest as brightly colored streaks of light in the sky, followed by blinding flashes of light and deafening sounds, which caused All Who Were Not Worthy and stood too close to fall to the ground, dead. After the Gods had left, the people would come close and often find strange rocks with Holy Metals in them, no doubt left behind by the Gods as a Gift for the Faithful. Later in history people called these "meteorites".

Re:Obligatory (1)

poity (465672) | about a year ago | (#43863365)

you can't stop crazy hair with close tags

This is just a confirmation (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860319)

Archaeologists have been theorizing about this for ages. In 1989 for instance they were speculating on meteorites being the source of iron in this paper. [robertbauval.co.uk]

Significantly the word ‘Bja’ meaning iron in ancient Egyptian also meant the ‘material of which heaven was made'.

Re:This is just a confirmation (5, Funny)

blane.bramble (133160) | about a year ago | (#43861685)

Wouldn't that make the paper really heavy and inflexible?

Ha ha (3, Funny)

sunking2 (521698) | about a year ago | (#43860437)

Who's the pyramidiots now.

Pyramids (1)

shione (666388) | about a year ago | (#43860501)

How about that iron pick they found inside one of the blocked passageways inside the Pyramids. Did they ever solve where that came from?

Re:Pyramids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860673)

That obviously also came from space. Because they couldn't smelt iron ore could they. Obviously this is just more evidence that aliens built the pyramids.

Re:Pyramids (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#43861803)

If the aliens were using iron picks to build the pyramids, they must have kind of lame as space faring civilizations go. Just sayin.

this isn't news (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43860523)

The fact that meteoric iron has been used for artifacts has been known for a while:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoric_iron [wikipedia.org]

Re:this isn't news (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43861601)

The funny thing is that it was in a book on Egyptology that I learned about the existence of meteoric iron as a child - in connection with Tutankhamun's iron dagger (18th dynasty, 14th century BCE).

Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (3, Insightful)

jzarling (600712) | about a year ago | (#43860567)

Did all these rocks fall from the sky, maybe, but, could some have been brought by ancient astronauts, as gifts to the native population?

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43861469)

Occam's Razor says hell to the no. Besides which I would wager if some extraterrestrial intelligence wanted to leave something behind it would be more than space gravel.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | about a year ago | (#43861549)

Occam's Razor is a cheap parlor trick used by the mentally lazy to dismiss, well, everything.

If you said "billions and billions of random events occurred to create anti-entropic self-organizing entities" people would say "well, Occam's Razor says no." And yet here we are.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43861743)

That's a misuse. In the first place, Occam's Razor is comparative. It postulates that out of a spectrum of possible explanations, the simplest is more likely to be correct. So unless you have a more simple explanation for the panoply of evidence in physical reality for life, then the consensus on its purported origins is not denied by Occam's Razor.

(Though in truth I doubt you understand what underlies all that, since you characterize life as 'anti-entropic' which is wholly false because you probably have some half-baked philosophical interpretation of entropy that has nothing to do with the reality of entropy as principle in physics. Here's a hint: entropy != chaos and the opposite of entropy is not "order" or "organization". These are just philosophical conceits that human beings have arbitrarily invented to understand their sensory memories.)

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863105)

Occam would never have come up with Special Relativity, Quantuum Theory, or well, anything really.

Keep your dull razor.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43863491)

Occam is a place, not a person, after William of Ockham of which Occam is more 'Latin' variant spelling. And Occam's Razor is an integral component of the logical framework of empiricism that led the way to philosophical naturalism and the scientific method itself. It was people looking for elegant simplicity that came up with some of the most fundamental laws of nature like Newton and Boyle. Newton, indeed, was recorded restating Occam's Razor as one of his own personal axioms for intellectual investigations. So, vicariously, "Occam" came up with *a lot* really.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#43864007)

Occam's razor isn't supposed to come up with anything. It's supposed to help choose between competing explanations.

Special Relativity wins according to Occam's razor against all the alternative explanations I've heard (remember the competing explanations have to explain the observations equally well - if one better fits the data you have no need for the razor in the first place).

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43862043)

If you said "billions and billions of random events occurred to create anti-entropic self-organizing entities" people would say "well, Occam's Razor says no."

If you said that in a world where we have no evidence for such self-organizing principles to occur, then that would be a crazy leap to make. But, in our world, we have abundant data for self-organizing systems developing and increasing in complexity. Specifics in a few gaps are missing, but the overall framework is certainly there for explaining the generation of life from "chance interactions" between organic precursor molecules demonstrated to form "spontaneously" under early-earthlike conditions. "Occam's Razor" calls for explaining all the *known data* with a "minimalist" set of additional assumptions --- do you have a better "minimalist" explanation for our currently known data backing our understanding of chemistry, biology, evolution? Note, saying "the great invisible space lemur did it" isn't particularly "minimalist," since you've just required introducing a very complex and powerful entity with little empirical support.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about a year ago | (#43862197)

No.

We know meteorites abundant with iron are out their floating about. We know they sometimes crash to Earth.

We don't know if there are any alien life forms out there. We don't know if they've visited Earth. We don't know if they'd have any interest in leaving bits of iron about that look like iron from meteorites.

Occam's razor - choose the simplest.

The simplest explanation does not invoke things we've never seen before to explain the phenomena. Therefore aliens go home.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43862419)

Some currently theorize that life increases the rate of entropy in system with very low entropy. You also have the whole "literally anything could happen in our universe because of quantum-randomness". Our life could be just a random occurrence with low probability.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#43862957)

Second law of thermodynamics: anti-entropic processes don't exist.
Also, you don't seem to understand Occam's razor; see the other replies. Now hand in your geek card, thank you very much.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | about a year ago | (#43863441)

If you said "billions and billions of random events occurred to create anti-entropic self-organizing entities" people would say "well, Occam's Razor says no." And yet here we are.

Unless you have a simpler explanation, Occams Razor says Yes.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#43863969)

"billions and billions of random events occurred to create anti-entropic self-organizing entities" is the simpler explanation that "God did it". So no, Occam's Razor would side with your example out of those two reasonably commonly proposed explanation.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861573)

I'm not saying it was aliens..

But it was aliens.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#43861731)

It wasn't aliens.

The Egyptians were obviously an advanced spacefaring culture and flew up to harvest the meteorite metal themselves. Eventually they left the solar system and erased the obvious signs of their advanced technology in order to troll future generations.

Re:Giorgio Tsoukalos asks... (1)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year ago | (#43861729)

I believe in the Doctor Who theory. Obviously he got a few chunks of meteorites, brought them to the Egyptians for some crucial purpose, and left them. I mean really, how else do you think they found so many?

Nope (1)

aepervius (535155) | about a year ago | (#43862383)

beside the lack of evidence of alien, why would they use meteoritic iron with a high percentage of nickel, and not highly purified steel or something solid ? This is the same bullshit as with "ancient alien building pyramide". Why the heck would they use local stone material, using locally known method of transportation and cutting, instead of modern method of cutting and transprotation, or even modern material ?

The simplest explanation is that "they" did not, there was no alien, jsut the locals using what they had available. And tehre is no evidence to the contrary.

Let's just get this out of the way... (5, Informative)

Ixtl (1022043) | about a year ago | (#43860639)

ALIENS DID NOT BUILD THE FUCKING PYRAMIDS. Erich von Däniken is still an idiot. The Egyptians just made something out of this cool space rock they found. It does not mean that ancient astronauts killed JFK.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43860823)

Then explain Dick Cheney... He has to be from out space.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861177)

No, he is totally a a sub-terrestrial from the darkest depths of the earths blackened heart.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43864801)

No, he is totally a a sub-terrestrial from the darkest depths of the earths blackened heart.

Oh my god, he's an underpants gnome! The missing link!

1. Steal Underpants
2. War in Iraq
3. Profit!

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43861127)

well of course ancient astronauts didnt kill JFK, it was the ancient astronauts great great great great......great great grandkids! The ancients died milenia ago!!

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861919)

ALIENS DID NOT BUILD THE FUCKING PYRAMIDS.

Technically, the Hebrew slaves built the pyramids. And as the Hebrews came from a far-away land, led there to escape famine by Joseph, who made them promise to take his bones with them when they returned to Canaan... you could say that the Hebrews were aliens in Egypt. As for the fucking part, there must have been quite a lot of that going on as well, because they went from being 12 brothers and their families to the 600,000 men, besides women and children, who left Egypt in the exodus. Therefore:

Aliens Did Build the Pyramids
Some Fucking Required to Generate Sufficient Numbers to Accomplish the Task

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (2)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about a year ago | (#43862247)

Technically, the Hebrew slaves built the pyramids.

Eh... probably not that either. There's no particular evidence for their existence in Egypt. Exodus using Egypt is like using the USA in the plot of your Evil Empire narrative - it works because everyone knows the players.

And before you dismiss that as ridiculous just remember that there are people out there who seriously believe that native Americans are the lost tribe of Israel.

And white.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (1)

tmosley (996283) | about a year ago | (#43862275)

But the people who built the pyramids weren't slaves (not to mention that the pyramids were built in a different era) http://news.discovery.com/history/ancient-egypt/pyramids-tombs-giza-egypt.htm [discovery.com]

Also, it is likely that the Hebrews were never slaves, rather they were kings, though they were expelled from Egypt after their dynasty failed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyksos [wikipedia.org]

Re:Let's just get this out of the way... (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about a year ago | (#43862631)

Your statement is not sufficient to convince those who have built up an entire industry based on fleecing gullible morons.

The people who actually believe that alien-pyramid tripe are generally not the type to be reading a website related to technology, unless it's something like transmuting pig crap into gold. Any argument which relies on elements such as "facts," "logic," or "evidence" is unlikely to sway them.

well duh (3, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year ago | (#43860717)

everything on Earth came from space...

so i says to the guy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43860873)

so i was at the supermarket the other day, right?, in the produce section, and i walks up to this guy, and i says, i says to the guy, i says to him, i says, "excuse me, but is that your nose or is it a banana?" and the guy is all like, what?, and so i says, i says again, i says, "excuse me, but is that your nose or is it a banana?" and then the universe dissolved around me and i was left floating in the vacuum of space, and so i walks up to the vacuum of space, and i says, i says to the vacuum of space, i says, "excuse me, but are you the vacuum of space, or are you a banana?"

I always thought this was common knowledge (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43860875)

I always thought it was common knowledge that the iron used in various artifacts that predates iron smelting the the region came from meteorites. I don't know what culture I ran across that was doing it (Indian, Mesopotamian, Germanic, Egyptian, Chinese, etc.) but it doesn't seem like a stretch that if one culture figured out that a metallic rock could be heated and pounded into something that others cultures couldn't, especially since most of those cultures were already working with copper, gold "rocks" so why not try with this harder metal rock. From what I remember reading an iron sword in these bronze age or pre-bronze age (copper and gold as the primary metal used but past neolithic status) was a kingly gift as it was very rare, substantially more durable, had greater edge holding ability, and would go a significant way through a copper or bronze sword.

Re:I always thought this was common knowledge (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about a year ago | (#43861011)

It should be, but some historians are incredibly arrogant or inflexible toward the introduction of new knowledge. Mention the water-based weathering around the Sphinx, suggesting the site is much older than originally thought, and watch the establishment cover their ears and ignore you.

Re:I always thought this was common knowledge (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43861647)

I thought that the exact nature of the weathering around the Sphinx is still contentious (as in, not completely conclusive)? Using the word "establishment", as far as I've been able to observe, is a shibboleth of conspiracy theorists.

Re:I always thought this was common knowledge (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about a year ago | (#43862835)

One of the arguments against the advanced age hypothesis is that there were no known civilizations with such grand structures. Since then, we've discovered GÃbekli Tepe, which is about 11,000 years old. Another argument is that the erosion is from the wind; however, wind erosion would be horizontal, whereas water erosion is vertical.

It should be noted that Zahi Hawass was booted from his position due to his close ties to the Mubarak family. There is a very good chance that, once Egypt gets its act together with its new govt., there could be expanded research in the area.

To me, it does not seem all that outrageous to suggest that at least the site of the Sphinx could have older origins (personally, I'm indifferent to the age of the Sphinx itself).

Re: I always thought this was common knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861693)

I read somewhere that the first Europeans exploring the north west passage encountered Inuit equipped with bits of ironware. Intrigued as to where they had obtained this, they were led to an iron meteor.

regarded meteorites highly as religion developed (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year ago | (#43861055)

The direct quote

hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion.

The Black Stone; Although it has often been described as a meteorite, this hypothesis is now uncertain.

The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building toward which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca,
Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Stone [wikipedia.org]

Re:regarded meteorites highly as religion develope (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43861671)

And you see what religion does to people. A single core drill would be able to resolve the issue. But no, it's supposed to be holy, not holey! We can't do that!

Iron (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861349)

Two item: 1) They were smelting iron in the Lake Region of Africa (Rwanda) thousands of years ago. So it is possible that the Egyptian either knew how or they could of traded for it if they needed iron. 2) The Egyptian used iron from Meteor for sacred purpose. It was important to them that this iron came from the stars/heaven. The item was made of Meteor iron not because the Egyptian couldn't smelted iron but because it was important that the object be sacred.

Re:Iron (3, Informative)

Guido von Guido II (2712421) | about a year ago | (#43861737)

Two item: 1) They were smelting iron in the Lake Region of Africa (Rwanda) thousands of years ago. So it is possible that the Egyptian either knew how or they could of traded for it if they needed iron. 2) The Egyptian used iron from Meteor for sacred purpose. It was important to them that this iron came from the stars/heaven. The item was made of Meteor iron not because the Egyptian couldn't smelted iron but because it was important that the object be sacred.

Iron smelting in Africa dates back to somewhere in the range of 1500-1750 BC (see Google books link [google.ca] and wikipedia link on the topic [wikipedia.org] ). However, per the Nature article the artifact in question dates back to about 3300 BC, over a thousand years earlier. So at the time point 1 is invalid (at least based on present evidence). Point 2 seems pretty likely, though.

STARGATE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861351)

Never seen but read the all the books !!

Re:STARGATE !! (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43864093)

There's books? I ain't even halfway through the fourth season of Stargate SG1 (let alone its spinoffs) and now you're telling me there's books I gotta read too?

I suppose next you'll be telling me there's comic books and graphic novels as well. Will this never end?

Semens of the gods... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861641)

Actually, I've heard Egyptologists mention in passing that the Egyptians referred to iron as "semen of the gods" because it came from the sky. It's good when the physics provides confirmation of the translations.

Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861799)

Wait... I thought the Egyptians created everything using the amazing occult powers of the Pythagorean Theorem that they could only get from space aliens...

Re:Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862293)

Pythagoras was Greek and lived well after 3300 BC. The Egyptians knew about specific instances of Pythagoras' theorem (e.g., ropes cut in 3:4:5 proportions in order to square up, for example, pyramid corners) but they never developed the general theory.

Really old story (3, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43864261)

I saw this in a documentary maybe 10 years ago. I couldn't tell enough from the article to know what was new besides being a study on one specific trinket.

Slightly OT, but one of the theories posited in Carl Sagan's Comet was that magic swords were historically crafted from meteorites composed of a higher grade of iron than could be smelted/mine/whatever at the time. The magic came from how much better they performed in battle and having been dropped to earth from the heavens.

Siderurgy (2)

Docasman (870959) | about a year ago | (#43864951)

Doesn't the greek word for iron mean something like "came from the sky"? I've once thought about why the modern iron industry is often called siderurgy, and came across a few references for the use of iron from meteorites, as early technology wasn't sufficient to extract it from the ore.

Mr. Obvious reminds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43865197)

Everything on earth came from space.

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