World's First Bling Discovered? 6,600-Year-Old, 24-Carat Gold Jewelry Unearthed At Prehistoric Settlement In Bulgaria

Jan Omega

If one were to ask an expert what the purpose of archaeology is, most will give the summarized answer that it is a science of learning the past through uncovering and studying ancient artifacts. However, there is an "internal competition" per se of wanting to discover something of grandeur. Maybe that's why stories of discovering the Lost City of Atlantis or the Golden City of El Dorado are so popular. Realistically, such a highlight is mostly through finding something that is the oldest (earliest recollection) or history-changing. One example of the former would be the archaeologists in northwest China who discovered ancient cheese on mummies that are older than Jesus Christ. As for the latter, archaeologists may have discovered that King Tut's treasures were in fact not for him, but for Queen Nefertiti, and that she is buried in a chamber next to his.

Now archaeologists may have possibly found the world's oldest bling (slang for jewelry for those who don't know the term). In a prehistoric settlement in Bulgaria, 24-carat gold jewelry dated to be made about 6,600 years ago was discovered.

Archaeologists found the tiny two-gram pendant during excavations at the archaeological site of Solnitsata in the Varna region of Bulgaria, known for its two-story houses and heavily-walled fortress believed to date back to 4300 BCE. According to Daily Mail, the pendant made of 24-carat gold is dated to be about 6,600-years-old. Archaeologists also took note of where the pendant was found as it was not part of a grave's belongings, but in between graves. There is now a theory that the people of the time participated in some kind of special ritual.

Professor Vassil Nikolov from Bulgaria's National Institute of Archaeology led the team that discovered the pendant. He then provided a statement pertaining to it to the Cherno More Agency.

"What's interesting regarding the gold jewel that we have found now is that it wasn't discovered inside one of the graves but between them, which might testify to some kind of a more special ritual."

Going back to the gold pendant, Professor Vassil Nikolov claims the gold pendant may have been worn as a sign of status by either a man or woman, as reported by Ancient Origins. Nikolov also let it be known that gold at the time was most-likely used for adornment, not currency. Instead, the indigenous people used salt as their form of money. Even ancient Rome used salt to pay its legions, in which the word "salary" is derived from "salt."

For now, the gold pendant is just the latest in a long line of interesting discoveries at the archaeological site. Other artifacts found on site are not just material things but human remains. After osteoarchaeologists studied them, they found details about the indigenous people such as these people drinking cow milk way before any other society consumed animal milk for sustenance.

[Image via Cherno More Agency]