By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
In 1911, archaeologists discovered an Egyptian grave with priceless beaded jewelry. The researchers took the accessories to uncover what the beads were made of, but in order to do so, they had to destroy one in the process. I sure hope it was worth it! After all, they had to be pretty confident in their methods to tamper with such priceless artifacts, or why annihilate them? Sure enough, they were able to figure out the unique identity of the mystery material. The final verdict? Well, it looks like the beads might have come from a meteorite, but they weren’t 100% sure… Uhhh, they destroyed ancients relics for a guess?! Seems kind of like a waste, no? It’s a good thing new research from the University College London (UCL) Qatar confirmed these cosmic suspicions. The best part was, they didn’t have to destroy anything to do it. The research team used advanced techniques to examine the chemicals that made up the bead. They found that the molecules were in a certain pattern, identical to the ones in meteorites! In addition, they found a mega-rare element called germanium. The presence of this element suggests that the bead metals were from out of this world!
Featured image courtesy of Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and Gianluca Miniaci.