A "sensational" discovery of 75-century-old copper tools in Serbia is compelling scientists to reconsider existing theories about where and when man began using metal. Belgrade - axes, hammers, hooks and needles - were found interspersed with other artefacts from a settlement that burned down some 7,000 years ago at Plocnik, near Prokuplje and 200 km south of Belgrade.
The village had been there for some eight centuries before its demise. After the big fire, its unknown inhabitants moved away. But what they left behind points to man's earliest known extraction and shaping of metal.
"It really is sensational," said Ernst Pernicka, a renowned archaeology professor at Germany's Tuebingen University who recently visited the Ploce locality.
Scientists had previously believed that the mining, extraction and manipulation of copper began in Asia Minor, spreading from there. With the find in Plocnik, parallel and simultaneous developments of those skills in several places now seem more likely, Pernicka said.
Indeed, the tools discovered in southern Serbia were made some 75 centuries ago - up to eight centuries older than what has been found to date.
The site at Plocnik, believed to cover some 120 hectares in all, is buried under several metres of soil. Serbian archaeologists have so far exposed three homes - the largest of them, measuring eight by five metres, discovered this year. ...
via World's oldest Copper Age settlement found in Serbia.