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Basic information Name: Gerzeh
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite.
Observed fall: No
Year found: 1911
Country: Egypt
NHM Catalogue:  5th Edition  (2000)  Iron
MetBase:  v. 7.1  (2006)  Iron
Recommended:  Iron    [explanation]

This is 1 of 101 approved meteorites (plus 5 unapproved names) classified as Iron.   [show all]
Search for other: Iron meteorites, Metal-rich meteorites
Comments: Revised 8 Dec 2013: Added new information
Writeup from MB 102:

Gerzeh, updated information.

History: During the excavation of tombs 67 and 133 near el Gerzeh, 70 km south of Cairo, 7 and 2 beads were founds associated with other stony beads (Petrie and Wainwright, 1912). As the tombs are dated about 3400-3100 BCE, their meteoritic origin was suspected from the beginning, but subject to controversy. Recent analyses (Johnson et al., 2013 and Rehren et al., 2013) show that they are indeed meteoritic. 

Physical characteristics: Beads are <2 cm in length and 3 to 8 mm in diameter. They are made from a rolled sheet about 1-2 mm thick. Due to weathering and destruction of 5 beads, the initial mass cannot be estimated accurately.

Petrography: Iron-nickel oxides mostly due to weathering. Widmannstätten pattern in one of the beads.

Geochemistry: Bulk composition after conversion to metal: Ni 6-9 wt%, Co 0.36-0.51 wt%, P 1-2 wt%, Ge 30-100 ppm.

Specimens: From the original 9 beads, only four remain, three in PetMus (#10738-10739-10740) and one in ManMus (#5303).

Submitted by A. Jambon

  • Johnson D., Tyldesley J., Lowe T., Withers P.J., and Grady M.M. (2013) Analysis of a prehistoric Egyptian iron bead with implications for the use and perception of meteorite iron in ancient Egypt. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, 997-1006 (link)
  • Petrie W. M. F. and Wainwright G. A. (1912). The labyrinth Gerzeh and Mazghuneh. London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt, University College. (link)
  • Rehren T. et legio (2013) 5,000 years old Egyptian iron beads made from hammered meteoritic iron. J. Archaeol. Sci. 40 4785–4792 (link)
Buchwald The following entries were found for Gerzeh in Buchwald (1975)
[Buchwald, Vagn F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press, 1418 pp.]
   and collections
ManMus: Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL , United Kingdom (institutional address; updated 8 Dec 2013)
PetMus: The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London, Malet Place, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom (institutional address; updated 8 Dec 2013)
References: Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 102, MAPS 50, 1662, September 2015
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     Catalogue of Meteorites:   (29° 19'N, 31° 17'E)
     Recommended::   (29° 19'N, 31° 17'E)

     This is the only approved meteorite from Al Jizah, Egypt
     This is 1 of 129 approved meteorites from Egypt (plus 2 unapproved names) (plus 1 impact crater)
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