Meteorite that was turned into an arrowhead - 3500 years ago

Archaeologists have found an arrowhead made out of a meteorite that collided with Earth 3,500 years ago.

| Updated on: Aug 14 2023, 19:53 IST
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The study of an arrowhead uncovered the grind marks from the meteorite's shaping process, and traces of tar used to attach the point to the arrow's shaft. (NASA )

Recent findings reveal that researchers have uncovered an arrowhead that was actually crafted from a meteorite. According to NASA, Meteoroids are "space rocks," that vary in size from minuscule dust grains to small asteroids. They generally originate as fragments from larger celestial bodies that have been shattered or dislodged. These fragments can come from sources like comets, asteroids, and even the Moon or other planets. Meteoroids display a range of compositions; some are rocky, while others consist of metals, and some are combinations of both. When a meteoroid manages to withstand its journey through the atmosphere and lands on the surface, it's termed a meteorite.

Arrowhead Meteorite

In the late 1800s, archaeologists unearthed an arrowhead at a Bronze Age dwelling in Morigen, Switzerland. For decades, this 3,000-year-old artifact has been part of the collection at the Bern Historical Museum.

According to a report by, a recent analysis has unveiled a remarkable discovery about the arrowhead. It turns out this seemingly ordinary object is far from typical – it was actually crafted out from a meteorite that collided with Earth 3,500 years ago. The findings were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Beda Hofmann, the lead author and head curator of mineralogy and meteorites at the Natural History Museum of Bern, explained that despite its rust-coated exterior, the arrowhead retains a significant amount of metal. Various techniques, including X-ray tomography and gamma spectrometry, were employed. These methods revealed the presence of aluminum-26 isotopes, rare on Earth, along with iron and nickel alloys typically found in meteorites.

The analysis also uncovered grind marks from the meteorite's shaping process, and traces of tar used to attach the point to the arrow's shaft.

Initially, researchers speculated a link between the arrowhead and the Twannberg meteorite site, which dates back 170,000 years and is less than 5 miles away from the dwelling. However, further examination showed that the concentrations of nickel and germanium in the arrowhead did not match those from the meteorite site.

If researchers could find more such meteorites, they will be able to unearth various secrets of the universe that are still hidden.

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First Published Date: 14 Aug, 19:53 IST