Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 3:15 PM


HUSKA, Andrea1, POWELL, Wayne1 and BANKOFF, H. Arthur2, (1)Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210, (2)Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210,

Tin is a rare metal that is essential for making bronze, the defining technology of the Bronze Age. The source(s) of tin for Aegean bronze is undetermined but several small Bronze Age tin mines have been documented in the circum-Aegean region. The discovery of Bronze Age archaeological sites in West Serbia near to a tin placer deposit on the flanks of Mt. Cer led to an investigation of this site as a potential additional Bronze Age tin mine in the region. Cassiterite in Mt. Cer is associated with pegmatites and greisens. The pegmatite bodies are small and vein-like, with quartz, microcline, albite, plagioclase, and some muscovite, biotite, beryl, tourmaline, zircon, and apatite as the main minerals, and cassiterite, columbite, rutile, sphalerite, monazite, and chalcopyrite as accessory. Greisens are quartz-muscovite and quartz-muscovite-tourmaline-fluorite types, with cassiterite, tantalo-niobates, bismuthinite, fluorite and scheelite as constituent minerals. Secondary alluvial deposits of cassiterite have been documented at the base of the pluton in the Lešnica and Cernica river valleys. Geochemical prospecting of stream sediments flowing from Mt. Cer allowed for categorization of streams based on relative tin grade. Tin grade is significantly higher in the Milinska River, a likely combination of a broad catchment area with multiple ore-bearing tributaries, and a topographic profile that would allow for the accumulation of placer deposits. Pedestrian survey of cornfields along the southern pluton margin discovered archaeological sites spanning the Neolithic to the Iron Age. Unlike older and younger sites, Bronze Age settlements were found only along the Milinska and Cernica rivers where placer tin grades are highest, but appear to be absent where tin is scarce or absent. This correlation suggests that these settlements were situated to exploit the tin ore.