Iron in the Sky: Meteorites in Ancient Egypt
In this free lecture on Thursday, March 9, Harvard Junior Research Fellow Almansa-Villatoro will discuss Egyptian texts, iconography and religious writings that associate iron with the sky and stars, indicating that ancient Egyptians were aware that meteorites came from space. This knowledge—most likely shared with other ancient civilizations that connected iron and sky in their texts—was lost in modern times, as it was only until the eighteenth century that meteorites were confirmed to be of extraterrestrial origin. In ancient Egypt, iron harvested from meteorites was used to create ritual objects associated with royalty and power. An iron dagger from the tomb of King Tutankhamun is one of the oldest Egyptian objects verified to be of meteoritic origin. This hybrid event is presented by Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, Harvard Museum of Natural History and Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Free event parking is available at 52 Oxford Street Garage.