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Galactic Artifacts: Bronze Age Artifacts Determined to Be Crafted from Extraterrestrial Metal

Bronze Age Artifacts Made From Extraterrestrial Material
Source: Villena Archaeological Museum

The bracelet made of iron from a meteor.

Feb. 14 2024, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

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Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery concerning two artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age, revealing that they were not made from materials found on Earth.

The revelation was detailed in a recent study published in the journal Trabajos de Prehistoria, shedding light on items unearthed over six decades ago in Spain.

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Among the trove of artifacts, which were excavated by archaeologists in 1963 and are known as the Treasure of Villena, researchers identified two pieces crafted from meteoric iron.

Comprising 59 pieces including bottles and various jewelry items made from gold, amber, silver, and iron, the collection weighs approximately 22 pounds. Notably, nine pieces are intricately carved from 23.5 karat gold.

Initially believed to be fashioned from iron, two of the artifacts, a C-shaped bracelet and a hollow sphere likely used as adornment for a sword's pommel, were found to be made from iron originating from a meteorite that landed on Earth nearly a million years ago.

Dating back to the period between 1400 and 1200 B.C., these artifacts offer a unique glimpse into ancient metallurgical practices. The analysis, conducted by extracting minuscule samples from the objects and verifying them at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, confirmed their extraterrestrial origin.

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While the exact origins of the artifacts remain uncertain, researchers speculate that they may have belonged to a community rather than an individual, given their probable status as hidden treasures.

Igancio Montero Ruiz, the lead author of the study, emphasized the symbolic and social significance of both gold and iron during that era.

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Moreover, Montero Ruiz suggested that the artifacts may have been crafted from the same meteorite, pointing to the necessity for innovative technological advancements in working with meteoritic iron compared to terrestrial iron or other metals prevalent at the time.

This underscores the importance of these objects in understanding the technological and societal evolution of the Bronze Age.

Despite speculation about their potential origins from the eastern Mediterranean, conclusive evidence is lacking, leaving room for further exploration into the intricate history of these ancient artifacts.


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