Trust but verify: Was an artifact in our new Hall of Ancient Egypt made from a meteorite?


November 6, 2013
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Back in a June issue of the HMNScoop (our weekly e-newsletter that you should totally be subscribed to, ahem), we told you about an exciting discovery made amongst the artifacts in our new Hall of Ancient Egypt: we suspected that one of them was made from a meteorite!

So we put it to the test. A simple magnetic test, that is. To see if this figurine of a human head, on loan from Chiddingstone Castle in the UK, contained any meteoric iron.

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We turned to our in-house experts to verify or debunk the assertion: Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, our Curator of Anthropology, and James Wooten, our Planetarium Astronomer (and the voice behind your monthly stargazing reports here on BEYONDbones).

The verdict?

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Sorry, folks.

Don’t believe everything that you read, because those scrawled words aren’t telling the truth. The object wasn’t magnetic, and it wasn’t made out of a meteorite, either. Bummer.

But now we know, right?

Authored By Fayza Elmostehi

Fayza was the Director of Social Media at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which means she plays around online all day and gets paid for it. Kinda. If you’re talking to HMNS on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network, chances are, you’re talking to her. Her inner geek is pretty much her outer geek, and she loves everything about learning – and sharing that with you.


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