Egyptian Museum, Cairo
“The haft of the dagger,” wrote Howard Carter, the excavator of the tomb, in 1922, “is of granulated gold, embellished at intervals with collars of Cloisonnè work of colored rock crystal; but the astonishig and unique feature of this beautiful weapon is that the blade is of an iron still bright and resembling steel!”
The Hittite king Hattusilis III (1289–1265 B.C.) may well have used a similar looking iron dagger to establish good intentions with another ruler, possibly the king of Assyria. Hattusilis had received a request for iron from the other monarch, but the amount requested was not available at the time. The dagger was sent as a good-will gesture instead—a telling indication of its great worth.