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Friday, 30th October 2009 (95 views)
Experts have claimed to have found the oldest gold mine in the world.
Located 46 metres below ground level, the mine was first found by archaeologists near the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 2005, China Central Television reports.
Recent tests have suggested that it could date back to the third millennium BC.
The discoverers of the mine found grooved tools indicating that the mine once held gold, although questions remain over what happened to the precious metal at the site.
Head of the excavation works Irina Gambashidze said tests had been carried out on two pieces of ceramics that were found at the mine, which dated them to the Kura-Araxis period.
"Afterwards, we did radio carbon dating of the charcoal collected here, which corresponded to the age of ceramics and thus we could say these findings represented the early Bronze Age," she explained.
Ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Persians placed great importance on gold, with evidence suggesting that the Egyptians in particular were familiar with the precious metal as far back as 2600 BC.