An arrowhead kept at the Bern History Museum was discovered to have been crafted from meteoritic iron by an international team of geologists and historians. The team details the characteristics of the arrowhead and the origin of the material they think it was composed of in their article that was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Prior studies have demonstrated that early humans utilised meteoritic iron in numerous regions of the planet, from Eurasia to the Middle East and Africa. Notably, academics have only come across a limited number of instances of early Europeans using meteoric iron.
Suspecting that many such artifacts have been found but not identified as such, the team on this new effort conducted a search of archaeological collections at various sites in Switzerland.
Testing on an arrowhead discovered in the Bern History Museum revealed that it had aluminum-26 isotopes, which are unnaturally absent from the Earth. Additionally, they discovered an iron-nickel alloy that has only previously been identified in meteorites.
When the crew looked into the arrowhead’s past, they learned that it had been recovered at Mörigen, a former Bronze Age site. There had been a settlement there between the years 900 and 800 BCE.
The researchers also discovered remains of an adhesive, which they estimated to be tar pitch, on the arrowhead, indicating that the arrowhead had formerly been affixed to some sort of shaft.
The Twannberg meteorite, which is the most likely source of the iron used to build the arrowhead, crashed into the ground fewer than eight kilometers from the spot where the arrowhead was discovered, according to the experts. The team discovered, however, that the concentrations of germanium and nickel did not coincide upon closer examination. They began looking for another supply as a result.
Only three meteorites with the correct mix of metals have been discovered in Europe, according to a geological database search: one in the Czech Republic, one in Spain, and one in Estonia. As an illustration of the wide trade network that was operating throughout the Bronze Age in Central Europe, the research team contends that the one in Estonia was the most likely source of the arrowhead they analyzed.