Discussions are still going on about when iron was first worked in Egypt. A number of objects from the Early period do not prove that at that time iron was being systematically forged. We have a number of iron beads and amulets from the Predynastic period. An iron object perhaps dating to the Old Kingdom was found between the stones of the outside of the pyramid of Khufu at Giza and has sometimes been cited as evidence that iron tools were used to build the pyramids, and Herodotus has been quoted to support this. However, the object is not a tool and it is perfectly possible that it dates from a much later period; further, the quotation from Herodotus is being taken out of context. Other iron objects, usually parts of tools, have been found in the valley temple of Menkaure at Giza, and at Saqqara, Abu Sir and Dahshour. The dates of all of these pieces are controversial. From the Middle Kingdom we have an iron object used in the Opening of the Mouth ritual, found at Deir el-Bahari, and from the New Kingdom a spear or arrow point found at El-`Amarna and a dagger, a miniature headrest, an amulet and sixteen iron objects probably used in the Opening of the Mouth ritual from the tomb of Tutankhamun. All in all, very few iron objects have been found, and lists of booty or foreign tribute do not list many objects of iron either. From the end of the 18th Dynasty on the number of iron objects gradually increased, and by the 26th Dynasty it was just as common as bronze. Egypt was the last country in the Middle east where iron was worked on a large scale. It is assumed that the reason for this is the fact that it was easier to work copper (which does not need to be heated). Moreover, heated iron needs to be beaten with hammers with handles, which only appear in Egypt relatively late. It is assumed that the technique of forging iron came to Egypt from western Asia. Iron ore was relatively plentiful in the deserts and oases of Egypt.