The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia
Evolution, Organisation and Consumption of Early Metal in the Balkans
Edited by Miljana Radivojević, Benjamin Roberts, Miroslav Marić, Julka Kuzmanović-Cvetković, Thilo Rehren
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The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia is a landmark study in the evolution of early metallurgy in the Balkans. It demonstrates that far from being a rare and elite practice, the earliest metallurgy in the world was a common and communal craft activity.
The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia is a landmark study in the origins of metallurgy. The project aimed to trace the invention and innovation of metallurgy in the Balkans. It combined targeted excavations and surveys with extensive scientific analyses at two Neolithic-Chalcolithic copper production and consumption sites, Belovode and Pločnik, in Serbia. At Belovode, the project revealed chronologically and contextually secure evidence for copper smelting in the 49th century BC. This confirms the earlier interpretation of c. 7000-year-old metallurgy at the site, making it the earliest record of fully developed metallurgical activity in the world. However, far from being a rare and elite practice, metallurgy at both Belovode and Pločnik is demonstrated to have been a common and communal craft activity.
This monograph reviews the pre-existing scholarship on early metallurgy in the Balkans. It subsequently presents detailed results from the excavations, surveys and scientific analyses conducted at Belovode and Pločnik. These are followed by new and up-to-date regional syntheses by leading specialists on the Neolithic-Chalcolithic material culture, technologies, settlement and subsistence practices in the Central Balkans. Finally, the monograph places the project results in the context of major debates surrounding early metallurgy in Eurasia before proposing a new agenda for global early metallurgy studies.