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Serbia – Cradle of Metallurgy?

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 18:13 -- MRS

Representatives of the Serbian, British, and German governments, as well as leading local and foreign archeologists, have gathered in the atrium of the National Museum in Belgrade to mark the beginning of the international research project entitled "Development of Metallurgy in Eurasia", which should answer the question whether Serbia is the cradle of European metallurgy.
The project "Development of Metallurgy in Eurasia" is a continuation of the doctoral research carried out by Miljana Radivojevic on currently the oldest documented metallurgy in the world, discovered at sites in Serbia. The project is funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council. Over half a million pounds will be invested in the three-year research. Excavations will be conducted during this and next summer, with data processing and publications to be completed by the end of 2014. The goal of the "Development of Metallurgy in Eurasia" project is to continue the five-year collaboration between the institutions researching this sphere at the sites Plocnik near Prokuplje, a large settlement of the Vinca culture, and Belovode in eastern Serbia.
The signing of the agreement on cooperation between the UCL Institute of Archaeology and national museums in Belgrade, Prokuplje, and Priboj, was attended by Culture Minister Predrag Markovic, British Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of the Culture Department of the German Embassy Karin Marshall, Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology Stephen Shennan, directors of Serbian museums, and many experts in this field. Addressing guests and reporters, Minister of Culture, Media and Information Society, Predrag Markovic said that this project "tackles the 7,000-year old time period, of which Serbia keeps the entire network of different sites, but so far, our country has not been able to research those sites sufficiently for different reasons. This international project will therefore significantly contribute to the work at the very sites, said the Minister. Director of the National Museum in Belgrade, Tatjana Cvjeticanin, stated she is proud that "Serbia can present what Serbian archaeological sites can offer researchers from around the world when it comes to the emergence of metallurgy in the territory of our country." British Ambassador to Serbia Michael Davenport pointed he is "honored and pleased that the agreement has been signed between Serbian and British institutions and experts, and that this will be a major undertaking for all participating in the project"