King Tut’s Jewelry: Made By Meteors

King Tut, also known as Tutankhamun, famously ruled over Egypt over 3 millennia ago. In the 1920s, an archaeologist by the name of Howard Carter discovered his tomb and opened it to find some incredible treasures.

Of course, the entire burial room was covered in riches as was custom when sending off a pharaoh. Statues, gold, jewelry, ivory and enough value to intrigue just about anyone. But what’s curious about all of this treasure was what was inside the tomb.

Tutankhamun’s Breastplate

Inside was an elegant breastplate. Not the kind forged of metal and used in battle, but a ceremonial breastplate of sorts. Lodged in the breastplate was a rather curious gemstone.

Cloudy yellow in color, they had a few ideas about what it might be, but the situation was odd. The gemstone is actually Libyan Desert Silica Glass with traces of several other metals such as iron, nickel, iridium and cobalt. This particular glass is one of the rarest minerals on earth and is only formed in the Libyan Desert.

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How is glass formed in a desert?

Natural glass such as Obsidian is formed when volcanoes erupt due to the extreme heating and rapid cooling/solidification. But there are no volcanoes in the Libyan Desert (that environment is brutal enough as it is without volcanoes sprouting up).

That leaves one solution, and one that has actually been observed across the globe: a meteor landed in the Libyan Desert and created the environment needed to produce the Silica Glass. The other minerals (nickel, iron, iridium, etc) are commonly found on meteors, making this the only viable solution to the mystery.

With jewelry forged by literal meteors, I think we can all agree that King Tut went out in style.