The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun ruled for 10 years, from 1332 B.C. to 1323 B.C., assuming the throne at about age 10.
The tomb of “King Tut,” as he is sometimes known, was discovered in 1922, capturing the world’s imagination. Treasures from the tomb have toured the world for decades, drawing huge crowds.
The “Treasures of Tutankhamun” tour of the U.S. and Canada, which exhibited at eight locations from 1976 to 1979, drew more than 9 million visitors. In 1978, the phenomenon prompted the comedian-turned-actor Steve Martin to write the best-selling song “King Tut.”
Revelations from Tutankhamun's tomb continue to unfold, with new evidence linking one of the pharaoh’s possessions to outer space. A knife found with Tut’s sarcophagus has been shown to contain material from a meteorite. Using X-ray technology, scientists from Cairo's Egyptian Museum, Milan Polytechnic and Pisa University determined the blade was made from a specific meteorite, known as Kharga, which was discovered in Egypt in 2000.
The researchers published their findings in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
"Our study confirms that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects,” the article says. “Moreover, the high manufacturing quality of Tutankhamun's dagger blade, in comparison with other simple-shaped meteoritic iron artifacts, suggests a significant mastery of iron-working in Tutankhamun's time."
Although the knife will probably never rival the iconic stature of Tutankhamun’s solid gold death mask, which is so precious that it is never allowed to leave Egypt, its otherworldly composition is the most significant revelation to emerge from the famous tomb in several years.