Radivojević M. et al. (2013). Tainted ores and the rise of tin bronzes in
Eurasia, c. 6500 years ago. Antiquity, 87, 1030-1045.
The earliest tin bronze artefacts in Eurasia are generally believed to
have appeared in the Near East in the early third millennium BC. Here
we present tin bronze artefacts that occur far from the Near East,
and in a significantly earlier period. Excavations at Pločnik, a Vinča
culture site in Serbia, recovered a piece of tin bronze foil from an
occupation layer dated to the mid fifth millennium BC. The discovery
prompted a reassessment of 14 insufficiently contextualised early tin
bronze artefacts from the Balkans. They too were found to derive
from the smelting of copper-tin ores. These tin bronzes extend the
record of bronze making by c. 1500 years, and challenge the
conventional narrative of Eurasian metallurgical development.

Keywords: Eurasia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pločnik, Belovode, fifth
millennium BC, Vinča culture, copper, tin, bronze, metallurgy,
compositional analysis