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... what is archaeoastronomy?

Archaeoastronomy is "the [anthropological] study of the astronomical practices, celestial lore, mythologies, religions and world-views of all ancient cultures."

Now one of the most famous archaeological discoveries of all time has been linked to Astronomy. It is the story of one of the several protective objects discovered in the mummy wrappings of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun reigned from about 1332 to 1323 BCE, during ancient Egypt's Bronze Age. When the young king died, he was buried with many precious items, including two ceremonial daggers, one of which had an iron blade (catalogued as object 256k).

In Tutankhamun's day, the use of iron was rare and the metal was considered precious. The iron blade of the pharaoh's dagger was doubly precious since the ore used was derived from another rare object: a meteorite. Since ancient Egyptians were skilled astronomers, they would have observed meteorites and probably knew that the ore from which the dagger was crafted was celestial in origin. Not only was such a blade fit for a king, but undoubtedly possessed magical properties to protect the pharaoh's mummy for eternity.

Click here for the full story.

Related links:

Diagram of Tutankhamun's mummy

Diagram showing the placement of dagger no. 256k within Tutankhamun's mummy, on the pharaoh's right thigh.

Logo of China National Space Administration

Logo of China National Space Administration.

... what is the Chinese word for outer space?

The word is 'taikong' - tai, meaning 'big'; kong meaning 'empty, the sky'.

For this reason astronauts from the People's Republic of China are known as 'taikonauts'.

China's space agency is known by the acronym, CNSA: China National Space Administration.