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The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia: Evolution, Organisation and Consumption of Early Metal in the Balkans

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by Miljana Radivojević, Benjamin Roberts, Miroslav Marić, Julka Kuzmanović-Cvetković, Thilo Rehren

Paperback; 205x290mm; 698pp; 340 figures; 70 tables (colour throughout). 806 2021. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781803270425. Epublication ISBN 9781803270432.

The Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia is a landmark study in the origins of metallurgy. The project aimed to trace the invention and innovation of metallurgy in the Balkans. It combined targeted excavations and surveys with extensive scientific analyses at two Neolithic-Chalcolithic copper production and consumption sites, Belovode and Pločnik, in Serbia. At Belovode, the project revealed chronologically and contextually secure evidence for copper smelting in the 49th century BC. This confirms the earlier interpretation of c. 7000-year-old metallurgy at the site, making it the earliest record of fully developed metallurgical activity in the world. However, far from being a rare and elite practice, metallurgy at both Belovode and Pločnik is demonstrated to have been a common and communal craft activity.

This monograph reviews the pre-existing scholarship on early metallurgy in the Balkans. It subsequently presents detailed results from the excavations, surveys and scientific analyses conducted at Belovode and Pločnik. These are followed by new and up-to-date regional syntheses by leading specialists on the Neolithic-Chalcolithic material culture, technologies, settlement and subsistence practices in the Central Balkans. Finally, the monograph places the project results in the context of major debates surrounding early metallurgy in Eurasia before proposing a new agenda for global early metallurgy studies.

About the Authors
Miljana Radivojević holds the Archaeomaterials Lectureship at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (UK), where she graduated in Archaeometallurgy. She has spent more than 20 years publishing on early metallurgy in the Balkans and southwest Asia and the role of aesthetics in the invention of novel technologies. ;

Benjamin Roberts has spent over 20 years researching and publishing on European Copper and Bronze Age archaeology and frequently metallurgy and metal objects across Europe. He co-edited with Chris Thornton Archaeometallurgy in Global perspective: Methods and Syntheses (2014) and is currently leading Project Ancient Tin. ;

Miroslav Marić is a specialist in the Neolithic-Bronze Age of the central Balkans at the Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Serbia. He is the field director of the Gradište Iđoš project. ;

Julka Kuzmanović-Cvetković was the Senior Custodian (now retired) at the Homeland Museum of Toplica in Prokuplje, Serbia. She spent more than four decades excavating the site of Pločnik, and developed a unique open air archaeo-park on the site that attracts tourists from the region, and across the globe. ;

Prof Thilo Rehren is the A.G. Leventis Professor for Archaeological Sciences and Director of the Science and Technology, Nicosia, Cyprus.



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