Peru Dig Yields 4000-Year Old Gold Necklace

Oldest bling in the Americas shows primitives liked prestige
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2008 8:06 PM CDT
The earliest known gold jewelry made in the Americas has been discovered in southern Peru. The gold and turquoise necklace, made nearly 4,000 years ago, was found in a burial site near Lake Titicaca.   ((c) fortes)
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(Newser) – Researchers have dug up the oldest piece of crafted gold in the Americas, a 4,000-year old gold necklace, LiveScience reports. Found at a pre-Inca burial site in Peru, the bling proves that primitive societies sought displays of wealth. It signals "the social process towards some kind of inequality," said Mark Aldenderfer, a University of Arizona anthropologist.

The find "was a complete shock," he added. "It was not expected in the least." Researchers found no sign of how the nine-bead necklace was made, but said primitives likely pounded native raw gold with stone mortar and pestle, the AP reports. "These folks are accumulating more wealth and using objects for prestige," Aldenderfer said. It says, "Pay attention to me, I'm successful." (Read more gold stories.)