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

  • Miljana Radivojević (a1) (a2), Thilo Rehren (a3), Julka Kuzmanović-Cvetković (a4), Marija Jovanović (a5) and J. Peter Northover (a6)...
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.

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The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution licence ;.
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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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