A discovery of a settlement and copper tools that burned to the ground over 7000 years ago in Serbia has some scientists questioning previously held beliefs. It was believed that the mining and manipulation of copper started in Asia Minor and spread from there. This find predates the finding in Asia Minor.
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.
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.
The layer of earth it stood on is still blackened from the scorching heat that destroyed the village. It is unclear what caused the fire, but no damage that would indicate an outside attack has been found.
The huts collapsed on their contents, with mud bricks and ashes burying all that was inside – pottery, statues, tools and a work table. After dusting the still embedded artefacts off, archaeologists began extracting them, most of all hoping to find more precious copper tools.
“These people were not wild,” Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovic stressed, pointing to fine pieces such as statuettes. “They had finely combed hair and adorned themselves with necklaces.”
One statue of a woman shows her wearing some sort of a mini skirt. Others wore long and broad scarves. Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovic actually helped a Serbian fashion designer set up a show inspired by the clothes of the people who lived there millennia earlier.
Whatever remains to be found at Ploce and elsewhere, “mankind took a major step toward the modern era” during that time, Pernicka said.
My theory on what happened is based on the mini skirt statue. A careless inhabitant was sitting on a stump with several other ancient types, drinking grog, and smoking ancient herbs when they all started singing as a mini skirt babe walked by, an ash tray gets knocked over and……bye bye village.
It seems plausible to me.