Meteoritic iron artefacts redux
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The earliest iron artefacts are often presented as products made of meteoritic iron, which is characterised by its high iron content. However, recent studies have shown that high nickel and iron content cannot be taken as a firm criterion for establishing its meteoritic origin. The most effective tool for helping to specify the elemental composition in such cases is a metallographic analysis. It turns out that the material of many artefacts regarded as having been forged from meteoritic iron could in fact be bloomery iron. An analysis of ample yet scattered evidence suggests that the production of items from meteoritic iron could in fact be irregular and sporadic.