24
Mar
09

Tutankhamun’s Cosmic Gemstone

So now we are talking about impactites and to civilise the ones not aware, impactites are a type of metamorphic rock.. Anyway I found this article to be very interesting, so I decided to publish it on my blog.

Perhaps the most alluring and beautiful of all impactites is Libyan Desert Glass, found in only one place on earth near the Libyan/Egyptian border. The formation event for this clear, honey-colored glass has been dated to about 29 million years, although no associated crater has been positively identified. Libyan Desert Glass was first recognized by modern science in the 1930s, but early humans fashioned it into tools during the Pleistocene era, and the ancient Egyptians were entranced by the yellow glass—a delicate scarab mounted in one of Tutankhamun’s ornate pectorals was carved from it.

Erosion by wind and sand has sculpted some pieces into startling shapes, and etched their surfaces with pseudo regmaglypts that bear an uncanny resemblance to the thumbprints found on meteorites. Some specialists theorize that at the time of impact, molten fragments of Libyan Desert Glass were thrown far up into the air, later falling back to earth and themselves becoming meteorites. New research has shown that some specimens contain tiny dust-like particles of the original meteorite, frozen forever in natural glass.

Collecting at the site is, today, prohibited by the Egyptian government, and high quality specimens are prized by collectors for their beauty, color, shape, and translucency.

Libyan desert glassLibyan desert glass2

This article was provided by http://www.geology.com

exact source: http://geology.com/meteorites/impactites.shtml

Photograph by Leigh Anne DelRay © Aerolite Meteorites

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