Courtesy Cairo Archaeological Museum and Egyptian Department of Antiquities

A gold dagger (top) and an iron dagger, each with its own scabbard. These exquisite weapons were found among the treasures buried with King Tutankhamen about 1350 B.C. Gold daggers are known from other contexts, going back to the Royal Cemetery of Ur (c. 2500 B.C.), but this iron dagger is unique in the Bronze Age world (and for this mason the Egyptian government allowed the gold dagger to travel about the world as part of the exhibition of The Treasures of Tutankhamen, but insisted that the iron dagger remain in Cairo). The best description of the iron dagger is that of Howard Carter, the excavator of the tomb, first published in 1922: “The haft of the dagger is of granulated gold, embellished at intervals with collars of Cloisonne work of colored rock crystal; but the astonishing and unique feature of this beautiful weapon is that the blade is of iron still bright and resembling steel!”

It is assumed that the blade of this dagger is made of meteoritic iron, but no technical study of it has ever been made.