Impactite | Libyan desert glass | 317,9g

Code: 58
$1 600

Libyan desert glass: Adornment of the necklace of Pharaoh Tutankhamun

Detailed information

Product detailed description

Around 28.5 million years ago, during the Tertiary period, a huge meteorite with a diameter of about 1-1.5 km impacted the Libyan desert, melting the surrounding sand at a temperature of more than 1,700 °C and forming the purest natural quartz glass in existence, with a very high SiO2 concentration of up to 99%. The meteorite probably created the recently discovered Kebira crater, which is about 31 km in diameter.

Libyan glass (LDG - Libyan Desert Glass) has a yellow, sometimes slightly greenish colour and is found in many different sizes, from pieces weighing a few grams to pieces weighing up to 30 kg, the rarest and most collectible being the transparent pieces. Larger pieces tend to be milky in colour, while some pieces contain brown inclusions which have been shown to correspond in chemical and isotopic composition to a stony meteorite. This makes them most likely to be the mass of the original meteorite that caused their formation.

Most of the pieces are found in an area of about 80 x 25 km in the south-western part of Egypt on the border with Libya in the Great Sand Sea. The Libyan glass was not formed in the way of typical tektites (e.g. Czech voltavite), which were ejected over distances of sometimes thousands of kilometres. It is an impactite that was formed directly at the impact site when the molten pieces were ejected over distances of tens of kilometres at most.

It was not until 1932, when the P. A. Clayton expedition discovered it, that researchers became aware of Libyan glass. He, together with Leonard James Spencer, also introduced and described it to the public for the first time in detail. However, archaeological findings have shown that Libyan glass was already in use in ancient Egypt. Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s necklace, discovered in his tomb in 1922, includes a scarab made of this very impactite, as does the hilt of his dagger. But at the time of the discovery, no one would have known what material it was.

The piece of Libyan glass in our offer is unique because of its size, the presence of inclusions from the source meteorite, and its surface, which is partly smooth (the part above the surface) and partly frosted (the part below the ground).

Weight: 317.9 g
Location of discovery: Libyan desert, Egyptian-Libyan border
Composition: silicon dioxide (up to 99% by weight)
Interesting fact: Material used for jewellery making in ancient Egypt

Additional parameters

Category: Meteorites
Weight: 317,9 g
Dimensions: 110 x 66 x 51 mm
Vytvořil Shoptet | Design