Which Is the World’s Oldest Gold? The Five Oldest Gold Treasures: All from the 5th Millenium BC, All Found in Bulgaria, All Made by ‘Old Europe’ (written for ArchaeologyinBulgaria.com)

The world’s largest and perhaps oldest prehistoric gold treasure was discovered by chance back in 1972 in graves of what has become known as the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis in Bulgaria’s Black Sea city. Photo: BGNES
(*This history feature + listicle article was written by Ivan Dikov for Pax Glocalica's sister publication ArchaeologyinBulgaria.com)

Humanity’s thirst for GOLD throughout the last – as it turns out – nearly 7,000 years has been very prominent, and so the question of which the oldest gold in the world is has been captivating the imagination of people from all around the globe.

The question, of course, does not refer to the world’s oldest nuggets or native gold ore but to the world’s oldest human-made gold artifacts and world’s oldest human-made gold treasure and treasures – that is, gold that is processed by humans through mining and metallurgy, and then turned into artifacts with added value – monetary, artistic, historical, and cultural.

Then come the additional and no less exciting questions of where exactly that world’s oldest gold has been discovered, why it was discovered where it was discovered, what it is like, and who made it.

For a while now these questions about the world’s oldest gold (treasures) have found at least partially satisfactory answers.

What is known for sure?

The world’s oldest gold processed by humans, the world’s oldest gold treasure, and the world’s oldest gold artifacts have been discovered in Bulgaria.

They date back to the period between 4,500 BC and 4,000 BC, i.e. the second half of the 5th millennium BC (so they are between 6,500 and 6,000 years old).

That is the Late Chacolithic (Aeneolithic, Copper Age) period.

They are the work of the people of Europe’s first human civilization, which developed in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, roughly 8,000 to 6,000 years ago, in Bulgaria and other parts of the Balkan Peninsula (Southeast Europe), along the Lower Danube and the Western Black Sea coast as well as further inland, in the valleys and gorges of the Balkans.

This first European civilization did not leave behind highly ostensible structures such as the pyramids of Ancient Egypt or the ziggurats of Ancient Mesopotamia – although it did leave behind a number of other impressive archaeological remains which are still being discovered! Plus it predated both Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia by thousands of years…

Read the rest of this article on ArchaeologyinBulgaria website here

(327 words cited out of a total of 2,679 words)

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