The bead which was discovered at a site outside of Pazardzhik, now a modern town in southern Bulgaria. The site however was the prehistoric settlement of the first urban denizens of Europe, who migrated from Anatolia (present-day Turkey) in 6000 BC.
A small gold bead–of 4 mm (1/8 inch) diameter–is being touted as an “enormous discovery for Bulgarian architects.” According to a report by in Reuters, the gold artifact comes from an age when copper and gold first came to the knowledge of humans.
The bead weighs 15 centigrams, and was unearthed from the ruins of a small house. It is believed to be Europe’s and most likely the world’s oldest golden artifact to have been discovered until now. The bead which was discovered at a site outside of Pazardzhik, now a modern town in southern Bulgaria. The site however was the prehistoric settlement of the first urban denizens of Europe, who migrated from Anatolia (present-day Turkey) in 6000 BC. The gold bead is said to belong to the period of 4600-4500 BC.
The world’s previous oldest processed gold artifact was part of the Copper Age golden jewelry stache which was exhumed at another Bulgarian city, Varna, in 1972. The present gold artifact from Pazardzhik has been calculated as 200 years older than the Varna gold.
Yavor Boyadzhiev, an Associate Professor at the Bulgarian Academy of Science, believes that Pazardzhik could have been a prototype of earliest civilization-towns, and its inhabitants preceded the Sumerians of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) by at least a 1000 years.
After an exhaustive analysis and the determining of its age, the bead will be hosted for exhibition by a local historical museum in Pazardzhik.
Other than the gold bead, the archaeologists have unearthed over 150 ceramic artifacts of birds, and it is possible that the inhabitants of the town used to worship the avians. The settlement is considered to have been destroyed during an invasion by enemy tribes, in 4100 BC.