Secrets of the Bronze Age: mysterious artifacts from meteorite iron in Villena
Only 60 years after the discovery of the famous treasure in Villena, scientists managed to uncover the secret of the composition of some of its unique artifacts.
Photo: openverse by William Ostling is licensed under CC BY
According to a publication in the scientific journal Trabajos de Prehistoria, back in 1963, 59 vessels, bowls and jewelry made of gold, silver, amber and iron dating back to the Bronze Age were discovered in the vicinity of the Spanish city of Villena.
However, the composition of some of the treasure’s artifacts remained unclear to scientists. Now, decades later, with the advent of new research methods, we have come closer to the answer. The mass spectrometer revealed the presence of an unusual metal in one of the iron bracelets and in the hollow sphere.
This metal turned out to be an alloy of iron and nickel, often found in meteorites. Analysis of the composition of both unusual finds showed their identity: both the bracelet and the sphere were made from the same meteorite that fell to Earth about a million years ago.
Several similar artifacts from ancient eras have already been discovered. For example, an arrowhead made of meteorite iron and dated to the 9th century BC was found in Switzerland. Several more artifacts dating back to the 8th century BC were discovered in Poland.