earliest tin-bronze discovered
Another superlative from in Pločnik in Serbia: This time the team of the Rise of Metallurgy project has found evidence for the earliest known tin-bronze. The recovered artefact, a thin sheet bronze fragment, is at least 6500 years old and consists of a copper-tin alloy with 11 wt% tin, and a number of minor elements . Archaeologists call copper alloys with zinc brass, all others are often labelled as bronze. In order to clarify that it is bronze in the sense of the modern definition, in archaeological texts it is often referred to as tin-bronze. Alloys with arsenic are called in the rest of the best arsenical copper.Radivojević and colleagues entertain the hypothesis that the chemical composition of the find is due to ore, which was used in addition to the malachite commonly used in Pločnik and other Vinča find sites (Radivojeić et al 2010). This addition is said to be stannite, a copper – iron-tin sulphide (Cu2FeSnS4 ). The idea that Stannite could play a more substantial role in the history of metallurgy, was already postulated in 1978 by , as well as , however its use has not yet been proven. , too cannot provide direct evidence that this has was the case either, however their argument is worth contemplating and their reasoning however can be followed. It is quite likely that stannite was smelted as part of the copper ore charge. In support of this hypothesis analyses of another dozen find objects are presented, although it must be noted that these do not possess a proper dating; only the bronze sheet can be be solidly dated to the 5th millennium BC. The other finds do indicate chemical similarities but may only be addressed as chalkolithic.