Slashdot | Pharaoh's Gem Brighter Than a Thousand Suns:
An Italian archaeologist accidentally found that the central gem in Tutankhamun's regal necklace is not amber, but a mere piece of yellow glass. Kinda cheap for the famous Egyptian pharaoh, best known for his splendid golden mask. Except that piece of glass is much older than civilization. Where did it come from, StarGate? Kind of. Scientists now think a meteorite much larger than the Tunguska event fell from the sky and exploded over the Sahara in prehistoric times. The tremendous heat of the 1000 A-bomb sized fireball melted large chunks of desert sand into perfect glass. The memory of such an apocalyptic event may have made sand-glass gems a desirable symbol, meant to emphasize the pharaoh's heavenly powers.