In the late 1800s, an arrowhead was found at a Bronze Age dwelling in Mörigen, Switzerland. For years, it has been part of the collection at the Bern Historical Museum. Recently, a new analysis revealed that the arrowhead is no ordinary artifact but actually crafted from a meteorite that crashed to Earth 3,500 years ago.
The study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, utilized various methods such as X-ray tomography and gamma spectrometry to examine the arrowhead. The analysis confirmed the presence of aluminum-26 isotopes, iron, and nickel alloy, which are consistent with meteorites. The arrowhead also displayed marks from grinding, indicating its shaping process, as well as traces of tar used to attach it to the arrow’s shaft.
Initially, scientists believed the artifact was associated with the Twannberg meteorite site nearby. However, further investigation disproved this theory due to differences in nickel and germanium concentrations. A geological database was then referenced, revealing similarities between the arrowhead’s metals and those found in the Kaalijarv meteorite site located in Estonia, over 1,400 miles away.
Based on this information, researchers concluded that the arrowhead was most likely traded during the Bronze Age when long-distance trade routes were established. This trade would have recognized the value and rarity of meteoritic materials.
Meteoritic arrowheads remain exceptionally rare, with only 55 objects discovered across 22 sites in Eurasia and Africa. This highlight the uniqueness and significance of the discovery in Switzerland.
Starting from February 1, 2024, the arrowhead will be on display at the Bern Historical Museum, offering visitors the chance to marvel at this remarkable artifact from the Bronze Age.
Source: Fagen Wasanni