Miljana Radivojević

  • MA, MSc, Magistar, PhD
  • AHRC Postdoctoral Research Associate

Current Research Project

The rise of metallurgy in Eurasia: Evolution, organisation and consumption of early metal in the Balkans

One of the most significant technological achievements in human history is the transformation of matter, most spectacularly the invention of metallurgy. This triggered a whole new era of fundamental economic, social and cultural changes. Recent excavations at Belovode in Serbia revealed copper smelting dated to c. 5000 BC, making it the earliest record of fully-developed metallurgical activity anywhere in the world (Radivojevic et al. 2010). How and why this earliest metallurgy emerged and developed in the Balkans, apparently independently from the Near East, is at the centre of this AHRC-funded research project.

This UK-Serbian joint venture, together with prominent German colleagues, is a collaboration also designed to exchange knowledge and skills as well as build lasting relationships for the future. The project combines targeted excavations and surveys at three copper mining, production and consumption sites in Serbia with intensive scientific analysis of finds at laboratories in Britain and Germany. The excavations focus on known metal workshops in two sites, and a prospective third site associated with prehistoric mines. Through a combination of these different approaches to archaeometallurgy, combining fieldwork, technological reconstruction, and theoretical considerations of cultural development, the project looks afresh at the technological, social and environmental context in which metal first appeared and was subsequently shaped, distributed and used across the Balkans.

Read more about the project launch (July 2012) here»

Research Interests

Archaeometallurgy; Ancient economies; Balkan Archaeology; Neolithic and Chalcolithic archaeology; Archaeometry

Research Directory Records


  • National Museums Belgrade, Prokuplje and Priboj, Serbia
  • Centre for Research in Archaeological Materials, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
  • Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade
  • Republic Institute for Heritage Protection, Belgrade
  • Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • M. Akbullah Bashkir State Pedagogical University in Ufa, Russia
  • Curt-Engelhorn-Centre for Archaeometry, Mannheim, Germany
  • InstitutulArheologie "VasilePârvan" in Bucharest, Romania
  • Archaeological Institute in Belgrade, Serbia
  • German Mining Museum, Bochum, Germany
  • Roman Germanic Commission, Frankfurt, Germany
  • School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, UK


Educational Background

  • PhD (2008–2012) University College London, Institute of Archaeology.
    Thesis Title: On the Origins of Metallurgy in Europe: Metal Production in the Vinča culture. Supervisors: Thilo Rehren, Stephen Shennan (both UCL Institute of Archaeology) and Ernst Pernicka (University of Heidelberg and Curt-Engelhorn-Centre for Archaeometry, Mannheim, Germany). Funded jointly by UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Foundation (through Institute of Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies) (c. £ 90,000).
  • Magistar (2004-2009) University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Department for Archaeology.
    Thesis Title: Metallurgy of Copper in the Early Chalcolithic in the Central Balkans (in Serbian). Supervisor: Dr Milos Jevtić. Grade ‘Distinction’. Funded by the Serbian Ministry of Science.
  • MSc (2006–2007) University College London, Institute of Archaeology.
    Thesis Title: Evidence for Early Copper Smelting in Belovode, a Vinča Culture Settlement in Eastern Serbia. Supervisor: Thilo Rehren. Funded by the Early Stage Training for Researchers Marie Curie Award (under FP6), Serbian Fund for Young Talents and Serbian Ministry of Culture (c. £ 30,000). Grade ‘Distinction’. Thesis awarded the Petrie Prize.
  • MA (1999–2004) University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Department for Archaeology.
    Thesis Title: Typology and Distribution of Copper Artefacts from Pločnik in Southeast Europe (in Serbian). Supervisor: Dr Miloš Jevtić. Grade ‘Distinction’. Funded by the Serbian Ministry of Science Foundation for Young Scientist and Fellowships of: the (Serbian) Royal House of Karadjordjević, Serbian Unity Congress, Embassy of Norway, and the Government of Serbia.

Journal articles

  • Radivojević, M. & Kuzmanović-Cvetković, J. forthcoming. Copper minerals and archaeometallurgical materials from the Vinča culture sites of Belovode and Pločnik: overview of the evidence and new data. Starinar, 64.
  • Radivojević, M., Rehren, Th., Kuzmanović-Cvetković, J., Jovanović, M. & Northover, J. P. 2013. Tainted ores and the rise of tin bronze metallurgy, c. 6500 years ago. Antiquity, 87, pp. 1030-1045.
  • Rehren, Th., Belgya, T., Jambon, A., Káli, G., Kasztovszky, Z., Kis, Z., Kovács, I., Maróti, B., Martinón-Torres, M., Miniaci, G., Pigott, V. C., Radivojević, M., Rosta, L., Szentmiklósi, L. & Szőkefalvi-Nagy, Z. 2013. 5,000 years old Egyptian iron beads made from hammered meteoritic iron. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40, pp. 4785-4792.
  • Radivojević, M., Rehren, Th., Pernicka, E., Šljivar, D., Brauns, M. & Borić, D. 2010. On the origins of extractive metallurgy: new evidence from Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, pp. 2775-2787.
  • Radivojević, M. 2006. A contribution to the typology and distribution of hammer axes of Pločnik type in southeast Europe (in Serbian). Journal of Serbian Archaeological Society, 22, pp. 211-224.
  • Crnobrnja, A. & Radivojević, M. 2003. Archaeological survey of Bukovac and its surrounding. Archaeological Reports, 1, pp. 71-77.

Book chapters

  • Radivojević, M. & Rehren, Th. forthcoming. The Rise and Fall of Tin Bronze Metallurgy in the 5th millennium BC Balkans. In: Rehren, Th. & Pang, R. (eds.) The Emergence of Bronze Age Societies: a Global Perspective. London: Oxbow.
  • Živković, J., Rehren, Th. & Radivojević, M. forthcoming. XRF characterisation of Celtic silver from the Židovar Treasure, Serbia. In: Pernicka, E. & Schwab, R. (eds.) Under the Volcano. Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Metallurgy of the European Iron Age held in Mannheim, Germany, 20-22 April 2010. Rahden/Westf.: Verlag Marie Leidorf.
  • Rehren, Th. & Radivojević, M. 2010. A Preliminary Report on the Slag Samples from Çamlıbel Tarlası. In: Schachner, A. (ed.) Die Ausgrabungen in Boğazköy-Ḫattuša 2009. ArchäologischerAnzeiger2010/1. München: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, pp. 207-216.

I (co-)authored six papers published in the Papers from the Petnica Science Centre between 1997 and 2003, on a range of topics from the fields of physical anthropology, ethnology, linguistics and archaeology.

Miljana Radivojevic

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