Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Tut mystery King Tut's necklace shaped by fireball
Scientists believe they have solved the mystery surrounding a piece of rare natural glass at the centre of an elaborate necklace found among the treasures of Tutankhamun, the boy pharaoh.
They think a fragile meteorite broke up as it entered the atmosphere, producing a fireball with temperatures over 1800C that turned the desert sand and rock into molten lava that became glass when it cooled.

Experts have puzzled over the origin of the yellow-green glass -- carved into the shape of a scarab beetle -- since it was excavated in 1922 from the tomb of the teenage king, who died about 1323BC.

Hard to interpret this. Article states that geologists have looked for a crater (in the western desert) of the same age as the glass scarab, but found none. New research purports -- through computer simulation -- that an object 120m across could have caused glass to form without forming a crater. That could be; various researchers have estimated the Tunguska object anywhere between 60 and 190m, depending on composition and it didn't make a crater. OTOH, Tunguska didn't seem to melt vast swaths of rock either. So, color me skeptical.