How and where were the oldest gold items found?

How and where were the oldest gold items found?



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Archeology is a science that studies the life and culture of ancient peoples. It is thanks to this science that today humanity knows many interesting and amazing facts about the past. For example, did you know that the oldest processed gold was not found in Egypt or India, as one might assume, but in Europe? Surprisingly, this is true. Precious items were found in a burial complex discovered in Varna, Bulgaria.

In the photo: necropolis. Varna, Bulgaria.


Necropolis in Varna is a cemetery dated 4660-4450 BC, located on the Black Sea coast. In local burials, experts discovered artifacts, including precious ones, and other rare objects from ancient times. Thanks to the treasures found, it became known that gold was processed at least 6 and a half thousand ago!


How did archaeologists find out about the necropolis?

Interestingly, the burial complex was found completely by accident. In 1972, works on laying an underground cable took place on the territory of the then undiscovered necropolis. One of the excavator workers came across some gold jewelry and, without thinking twice, took them home. However, after a couple of days, the man changed his mind and contacted local archaeologists to report the unique find. It was decided to begin excavations immediately.

Work continued almost continuously from 1972 to 1978 and from 1980 to 1986. Then there was a 5-year pause. The last research was conducted in 1991. Excavations were suspended due to lack of funds, and the site itself was abandoned.


The most “golden” tomb

The biggest number of items made of the precious metal were found in tomb No. 43, located in the central part of the Varna necropolis. There, archaeologists found gold-trimmed axes, various types of rings, two necklaces, bracelets and many other jewelry. Experts suggest that a local ruler could be buried in this tomb.

In the photo: items from the tomb No. 43.


No less interesting finds awaited archaeologists in other tombs. There was an incredibly beautiful tiara, exquisite earrings, a belt and a luxurious golden scepter. But the most attention of specialists was attracted by dozens of golden figurines of bulls.They are believed to symbolize strength and greatness.

In the photo: various gold objects discovered during the excavations.


To date, in Varna, archaeologists have studied in detail an area of 7 and a half thousand square meters (about 70 percent of the territory of the necropolis). Their efforts were clearly not in vain, because during the excavations, experts discovered 294 tombs containing about 3 thousand gold artifacts! These finds are the oldest processed gold in the world. By the way, all the found items were transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Varna, so that everyone could personally “touch” the ancient history of mankind.

Is it possible that even more ancient gold objects are located in the unexplored territory of the necropolis? Undoubtedly. And if they are ever found, we will definitely tell you about it!


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“Gold storage” in the depths of the Earth