Glass Beads Found In Danish Grave Linked To King Tut’s Death Mask

Scientists working in Denmark have unearthed glass blue beads crafted in an ancient Egyptian workshop for King Tutankhamun that made its way north to Europe 3,400 years ago. The find helps prove there was contact between the two regions long ago and suggests possible ancient trade routes.

An elaborate glass bead with amber embedding found in a 3400-year old Danish grave turns out to have come from ancient Egypt.

An elaborate glass bead with amber embedding found in a 3400-year old Danish grave turns out to have come from ancient Egypt. credit: Roberto Fortuna and Kira Ursem

After taking a new look at a pair of ancient cobalt beads, archaeologists now believe these Bronze Age artifacts may have been manufactured in the same workshop as the blue glass on King Tut’s death mask. The researchers say the new discovery is the first Egyptian cobalt glass that has been found outside the Mediterranean area.

The mask of Tutankhamun credit: DE AGOSTINI / A. JEMOLO VIA GETTY IMAGES

The mask of Tutankhamun.The solid gold death mask contains blue glass in the stripes of the headdress, as well as in the inlay of the plaited false beard. credit: DE AGOSTINI / A. JEMOLO VIA GETTY IMAGES

For the research, an international team of Danish and French archaeologists used a technique called plasma-mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical composition of 23 glass beads dating back to between 1400 and 1100 B.C. The set of beads was unearthed from Danish graves in the late 19th century.

If that’s the case, an extensive trade network likely ran from ancient Denmark to Egypt and Mesopotamia around 3,400 years ago, the researchers say.

For more info – read the online article.

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