The Gerzeh Bead, an ancient Egyptian iron bead derived from a meteor (c. 3300 BC) Photo: The Open University / The University of Manchester
The name for iron in ancient Egyptian is "metal of heaven," and they're not kidding! Researchers from The Open University and the University of Manchester have proven that ancient Egyptians used meteorites to make iron beads accessories for their dead.
Dr Joyce Tyldesley is a Senior Lecturer in Egyptology at The University of Manchester and worked on the research. She said:
“Today, we see iron first and foremost as a practical, rather dull metal. To the ancient Egyptians, however, it was a rare and beautiful material which, as it fell from the sky, surely had some magical/religious properties. They therefore used this remarkable metal to create small objects of beauty and religious significance which were so important to them that they chose to include them in their graves.”