TechExtraterrestrial secrets of Spain's age-old Treasure of Villena revealed by scientists

Extraterrestrial secrets of Spain's age‑old Treasure of Villena revealed by scientists

Handle from the Villeny Treasure made of meteorite iron
Handle from the Villeny Treasure made of meteorite iron
Images source: © El Pais

1:13 PM EST, January 29, 2024, updated: 4:40 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Let's recall that the discovery of the Treasure of Villena took place in December 1963. This find significantly impacted due to its unique characteristics apart from other archaeological sites in the same region.

The archaeological excavation led to the identification of 59 items. The trove of treasures from the Spanish city included bottles and bracelets. The scientists identified that these objects were made of gold, silver, and amber.

Surprising information is now emerging from scientists who have delved deeper into the origins and structure of the Treasure of Villena. They deduced that some of the objects were crafted using extraterrestrial material. Specifically, meteoric iron, a material originating in space, was identified in some of the artifacts.

However, it's worth mentioning that the use of extraterrestrial materials by the population inhabiting today’s areas of Valencia and Alicante is not unheard of. Similar discoveries have been made in Egypt and elsewhere, demonstrating that iron was revered as a precious material, even during the Bronze Age.

Scientists have estimated that these treasures from Villena date back several thousand years

This discovery by scholars validates that the Treasure of Villena must originate from the late Bronze Age. This means these artifacts, which contain extraterrestrial material, were produced between 1400 and 1200 BC.

To accurately analyze the content of extraterrestrial components, the Spanish find was studied using mass spectrometry. This technique allows the precise measurement of molecular mass by gauging the ratio of mass to charge of charged particles. It's typically used to identify chemical compounds or determine the elemental composition of the objects under study.

According to the research team's findings, one of the Spanish treasures, an iron bracelet, was fashioned from iron and nickel. This is significant since meteoric iron usually contains over 5 percent nickel.

Treasure from Villeny
Treasure from Villeny© | Juan Carlos Frances Sanchez

The data accumulated so far indicates that the Spanish artifacts' composition could be connected to the Mundrabilla meteorite from Australia. However, it's not currently possible to certify with absolute certainty that ancient populations used the materials from this specific meteorite to craft these valuable treasures. The researchers plan further investigations in the future.

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