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    The gold mask of King Tutankhamun is seen in a glass case during a press tour, in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. File photo

    Scientists SOLVE Mystery of Yellow Glass Found in Pharaoh Tutankhamun's Tomb

    © AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
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    An Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, Tutankhamun, ruled from 1323 BC to 1332 BC. In his almost completely intact tomb that was uncovered in 1922, archaeologists found jewellery made of what looked like strange yellow glass.

    The so-called Libyan Desert Glass, which was found last century in ancient jewellery buried beside Egyptian King Tutankhamun, was formed by a meteorite impact about 29 million years ago, a new study has revealed.

    The findings published by the journal Geology suggest that the canary yellow glass was made of a mineral called reidite which can only be created by a meteorite explosion in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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    The survey’s lead author, Dr Aaron Cavosie of the Space Science and Technology Centre in Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said that scientists have been at odds over whether the glass “was formed during meteorite impact, or during an airburst, which happens when asteroids called Near Earth Objects explode and deposit energy in the Earth’s atmosphere”.

    “Both meteorite impacts and airbursts can cause melting, however, only meteorite impacts create shock waves that form high-pressure minerals, so finding evidence of former reidite confirms it was created as the result of a meteorite impact”, Cavosie pointed out.

    Researchers have been at loggerheads over the origin of the glass since 1922, when English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter’s group found Tutankhamun's tomb.

    The glass was discovered in a scarab beetle and other jewellery pieces buried next to Pharaoh Tutankhamun who ruled Egypt from 1323 BC to 1332 BC.

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    Tags:
    glass, meteorite, findings, impact, jewellery, scientists, study, King Tutankhamun, Egypt
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