Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


7 September 2014

Copper awl from Jordan Valley is oldest metal ever discovered in Middle East

Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post, 21-08-2014

Copper awl from Jordan Valley is oldest metal ever discovered in Middle East

A copper awl discovered during excavations at the Middle Chalcolithic village of Tel Tsaf, southeast of Beit She’an, is the oldest metal object ever found in the Middle East, a study published Thursday concluded. According to the study, which appeared in the journal PLOS One, the awl dates back to the late 6th millennium, or the early 5th millennium BCE – hundreds of years before it was previously believed that people of the region began using metals.

The finding was published by researchers from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, in conjunction with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Archaeological Institute of Berlin. Tel Tsaf, which dates back to 5200-4600 BCE, was once a wealthy commercial center. It was first documented in the 1950s; excavations commenced there during the late 1970s. In a joint statement, the archeologists involved in the excavation, led by Dr. Danny Rosenberg of the University of Haifa and Dr. Florian Klimscha of the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, praised the area for its “valuable data.”

“From the earliest digs nearly 40 years ago, this area – the most important archeological site in the region dated to this period – has been supplying researchers with a great deal of valuable data, and continues to do so during this latest research project,” it said. Rosenberg and Klimscha said the ancient community’s wealth and long-distance commercial ties were sustained by large buildings made of mud-bricks, as well as a large number of silos that stored wheat and barley on an unprecedented scale.

Read more:


Παρακαλούμε τα σχόλιά σας να είναι στα Ελληνικά (πάντα με ελληνικούς χαρακτήρες) ή στα Αγγλικά. Αποφύγετε τα κεφαλαία γράμματα. Ο Αιγεύς διατηρεί το δικαίωμα να διαγράφει εκτός θέματος, προσβλητικά, ανώνυμα σχόλια ή κείμενα σε greeklish.