Our new arrival: a new meteorite!

I was delighted to get a call from our front desk to say I had a parcel this morning. This was no ordinary parcel, it was a new meteorite!

meteorite1meteorite3S-A 2071AThe meteorite is part of the Sikhote-Alin fall and is from the Sikhote-Alin Mountains in Siberia, Russia. It is an iron meteorite that shows a really beautiful thumb-printed or regmaglypted texture.

We have purchased this meteorite as part of our preparations for  our new exhibition called ‘Siberia: stories from a mysterious land’ which will open in October 2014.

Thanks to Kate for helping me unpack it.

Meteorite mysetery

We have recently acquired the mineral collection from the late Prof. R. A Howie. The collection includes a mysterious meteorite.

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Howie was an eminent mineralogist and one of the authors of the student textbook Deer, Howie & Zussman which is well know to all geology under graduates. He spent a significant amount of his career at Manchester University.

I’m hoping to find out as much as possible about this meteorite over the next few weeks. I’m delighted to say that the good people at the Isotope Geochemistry Group have confirmed it is a palasite meteorite, so at least I’m not imagining things!

I’ll let you know what I find out.

Manchester Meteorites solve Egyptian mystery

This amazing research on our collections solves an enduring mystery:

Iron in Egyptian relics came from space

Meteorite impacts thousands of years ago may have helped to inspire ancient religion.

The Gerzeh bead (top) has nickel-rich areas, coloured blue on a virtual model (bottom), that indicate a meteoritic origin.

Open Univ./Univ. Manchester

The 5,000-year-old iron bead might not look like much, but it hides a spectacular past: researchers have found that the ancient Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite.

The result, published on 20 May in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science1, explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that the ancient Egyptians regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion.

“The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” says Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author on the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

Read the whole article here.

Find out more about Egypt on Campbell’s blog.

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