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On the Invention of Gold Metallurgy: The Gold Objects from the Varna I Cemetery (Bulgaria)—Technological Consequence and Inventive Creativity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2015

Verena Leusch
Affiliation:
Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbH, D6 3, 68159 Mannheim, Germany & Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Institute for Pre- and Protohistory and Medieval, Archaeology, Burgsteige 11, 72070 Tübingen, Germany Email: verena.leusch@cez-archaeometrie.de
Barbara Armbruster
Affiliation:
CNRS–UMR 5608, Université de Toulouse II - Le Mirail, 5 allées Antonio Machado, 31058 Toulouse Cedex 9, France Email: barbara.armbruster@univ-tlse2.fr
Ernst Pernicka
Affiliation:
Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbH, D6 3, 68159 Mannheim, Germany Email: ernst.pernicka@cez-archaeometrie.de
Vladimir Slavčev
Affiliation:
Varna Museum of Archaeology, 41 Bul. Maria Louisa, 9000 Varna, Bulgaria Email: vladosl@yahoo.com

Abstract

This paper discusses the invention of gold metallurgy within the Southeast European Chalcolithic on the basis of newly investigated gold objects from the Varna I cemetery (4550–4450 cal. bc). Comprehensive analyses, including preceding gold finds, shed new light not only on the technical expertise of the so far earliest known fine metalworkers, but also on the general context and potential prerequisites in which the invention of gold metallurgy may be embedded. Here, these structural trajectories as well as the unprecedented inventions connected to this early gold working will be highlighted in order to contextualize the apparently sudden appearance and rapid development of this new craft.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research 2015 

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