VIDEO and article: Tiny Bead Found in Bulgaria May Be Oldest Known Gold Artifact in the World
A tiny bead found in Bulgaria is believed to be the oldest worked piece of gold in the world, an archaeologist says. Researchers discovered the precious bauble in a settlement dating back 6,600 years—the oldest “urban” settlement or town in Europe.
The tiny bead is 1/8 inch (4 mm) in diameter. It was probably made in the settlement, which is outside the town of Pazardzhik in southern Bulgaria. It will be on display in the town museum of Pazardzhik after restorers clean it and experts make a final confirmation on its age.
The gold bead weighs just 0.005 ounce of 15 centigrams. Archaeologists found it in July in the remains of a small, very old house. The artisan who made the bead was working at the beginning of the Copper Age, when humans first started working metals like gold and copper.