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Tainted ores and the rise of tin bronzes in Eurasia, c. 6500 years ago

Radivojevic, M; Rehren, T; Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovic, J; Jovanovic, M; Northover, JP; (2013) Tainted ores and the rise of tin bronzes in Eurasia, c. 6500 years ago. ANTIQUITY , 87 (338) 1030 - 1045. 10.1017/S0003598X0004984X. Green open access

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Abstract

The earliest tin bronze artefacts in Eurasia are generally believed to have appeared in the Near East in the early third millennium BC. Here we present tin bronze artefacts that occur far from the Near East, and in a significantly earlier period. Excavations at Pločnik, a Vinča culture site in Serbia, recovered a piece of tin bronze foil from an occupation layer dated to the mid fifth millennium BC. The discovery prompted a reassessment of 14 insufficiently contextualised early tin bronze artefacts from the Balkans. They too were found to derive from the smelting of copper-tin ores. These tin bronzes extend the record of bronze making by c. 1500 years, and challenge the conventional narrative of Eurasian metallurgical development.

Type: Article
Title: Tainted ores and the rise of tin bronzes in Eurasia, c. 6500 years ago
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0003598X0004984X
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X0004984X
Additional information: Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. Creative Commons Attribution licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/>.
Keywords: Eurasia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Plocnik, Belovode, fifth millennium BC, Vinca culture, copper, tin, bronze, metallurgy, compositional analysis
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1420706
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