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Scientists discover ancient treasure trove actually had items made from extraterrestrial metal

Scientists discover ancient treasure trove actually had items made from extraterrestrial metal

A new study based on the 1960s find has found the treasure trove had items made from extraterrestrial metal

When scientists make new discoveries, they are often dubbed as 'out-of-this-world' finds.

But when archaeologists unearthed a Bronze Age treasure trove more than 60 years ago, they literally did discover something out-of-this-world.

In 1963, archeologists came across the ancient collection - known as the Treasure of Villena - which consisted of 59 objects, including 27 bracelets, 11 bowls, made from gold, silver, amber, and iron.

The amazing discovery was made in a gravel pit in the Spanish port city of Alicante - though the coastal paradise looks rather different now compared to back in the 60s.

The discovery is truly out-of-this-world.
Getty Stock Photo

Scientists noticed how the iron pieces looked a lot different to how they are typically discovered.

Researchers noted back in the 60s that the gold-plated pommel of a sword hilt and the bracelet were made up of 'a dark leaden metal [which is] shiny in some areas, and covered with a ferrous-looking oxide that is mostly cracked'.

And it's funny how science works sometimes, as that theory was the latest bit of information we had on the findings until very recently.

Now, after testing the two iron pieces, scientists said they 'are the first objects found in the Iberian Peninsula that were made with material from beyond planet Earth'.

A new study published in the journal Trabajos de Prehistoria has concluded that these two items - which were crafted between 1400 and 1200 B.C. - did not originate from Earth despite being found in Spain.

Extraordinarily, the two artefacts originated from a meteorite that crash-landed on Earth around one million years ago.

The iron sphere.
Museo de Villena

Ignacio Montero-Ruiz, one of the study's senior authors, told Live Science: "The connection between gold and iron is important, as both elements have a great symbolic and social value.

"In this case, [the items] were … probably hidden treasure that could have belonged to a whole community and not to a single person. There were no kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula at this historical period."

Though it's not clear who made the objects or where they originated, Montero-Ruiz and his team have since confirmed the pieces are both the first and oldest meteoritic iron objects found in that region of Spain and even 'could [have] come from the same meteorite'.

On top of that, they are also pretty lucrative.

Montero-Ruiz told El País: "These two pieces of iron had enormous value. For this reason, they were considered worthy of becoming part of this spectacular ensemble with numerous delicate gold objects.

"Who manufactured them and where this material was obtained are still questions that remain to be answered."

Featured Image Credit: Turismo Villena/Museo de Villena / Getty Stock Images

Topics: Science, Weird