Archeologists have stumbled upon a Bronze Age iron arrowhead made of an unexpected material: meteorite.
This iron arrowhead came to light during a concentrated search for ancient meteoritic artifacts amongst the collection at the Natural History Museum of Bern - and was originally discovered in Mörigen, Switzerland.
It was made during the Bronze Age, between 800 and 900 BCE. The arrowhead is 39.3 millimeters (1.5 inches) long and weighs only 2.904 grams (0.102 ounces). This iron artifact's extraterrestrial origin was determined by its peculiar element makeup.
The researchers investigated the chemical composition using electron microscopy pictures, X-rays, and high-energy radiation analyses. The findings confirmed the presence of iron and nickel, both known to be present in meteoritic iron. They also discovered the existence of aluminum-26 isotopes, which are only present in extraterrestrial objects.
The results have been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.