Journal article

Four-thousand-year-old gold artifacts from the Lake Titicaca basin, southern Peru

Mark Aldenderfer, Nathan M Craig, Robert J Speakman, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2008

Abstract

Artifacts of cold-hammered native gold have been discovered in a secure and undisturbed Terminal Archaic burial context at Jiskairumoko, a multicomponent Late Archaic-Early Formative period site in the southwestern Lake Titicaca basin, Peru. The burial dates to 3776 to 3690 carbon-14 years before the present (2155 to 1936 calendar years B.C.), making this the earliest worked gold recovered to date not only from the Andes, but from the Americas as well. This discovery lends support to the hypothesis that the earliest metalworking in the Andes was experimentation with native gold. The presence of gold in a society of low-level food producers undergoing social and economic transformations coinc..

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University of Melbourne Researchers