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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.
One thing I find very interesting, is that several areas that show substantial advancement, were also areas where Neanderthals persisted the longest.
Areas like the balkans, shanidar in Iran, Iberia and the Levant.
Shanidar cave provided the earliest example of
working native copper and also had one of the latest HSN occupations.
Likewise in the balkans you have late HSN occupations and you have one of the earliest metal working traditions.