Ancient Egyptian Beads Found to be Oldest Iron Objects
"Blackened and corroded beads have turned out to be the oldest objects made in iron ever discovered, beaten out from pieces of meteorite in ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago.
The nine beads were excavated in 1911 in a pre-dynastic
cemetery near el-Gerzeh in Egypt, and are now among objects at the Petrie Museum, part of University College London, which has a world-renowned Egyptian collection, including quantities of exquisite jewellery. The find is revealed in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
The iron beads - the metal from the metorites is actually an iron-nickel alloy, with other elements including cobalt and phosphorus which helped prove its source - were made using a completely different technique from the other beads in the necklace, gold and gemstones which were cast, carved or drilled.
The fact that the iron beads were combined with such precious materials proves that although the ancient jewellers could not have known the true source of the strange metal that fell from the sky, it was highly valued." - The Guardian