Thursday 21 August 2014

Oldest metal object found to date in Middle East

University of Haifa
The University of Haifa has announced the discovey of a copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East. It was discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf ('Oldest metal object found to date in Middle East', Science Daily August 21, 2014).
The awl dates back to the late 6th millennium or the early 5th millennium BCE, moving back by several hundred years the date it was previously thought that the peoples of the region began to use metals
. Had it been found by an artefact hunter, and hoiked out of the context that dated it, this small piece of metal of rather nondescript form probably would not have got a second look and very well might have landed in their scrap bucket along with other unrecognised archaeological evidence. Thank goodness that metal detecting and this manner of treatment of archaeological remains as collectables is only legal in a few backward countries in the world.

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