Humans have been making things out of gold and trading them for a very long time. Thousands of years, in fact, owing in part to the fact that gold resists corrosion and rust.
Archaeologists recently unearthed what they say is likely the oldest processed piece of gold ever: a small bead, found in Bulgaria, from somewhere between 4,500 to 4,600 B.C., according to Reuters.
That beats the previous mark by a couple of centuries, archaeologists say.
Archaeologists found the bead while digging up an ancient settlement in Pazardzhik, in central Bulgaria. It was made by people who had been living there for 1,500 years already, in one of civilization’s first cities.
The bead, which is 1/8 inch wide and weighs about 0.005 ounces, will eventually be displayed in a museum, a happier outcome than what happened to the civilization that produced it, according to Reuters.
Around 400 years after the bead was made, the settlement met an untimely demise, after being ”destroyed by hostile tribes who invaded from the northeast,” Reuters reports.