The mystery of Prehistoric Mining and Metalworking

We have written records of History ranging back about 6000 years. According to mainstream doctrine, humans go back at least 200 000 years. That would mean that at least 97% of our History is lost. One side of the debate (the status quo) says it is lost because nothing much happened back then and was not written down because humans could not write. The other side says it is lost because of cataclysmic events and widespread destruction. I endorse this second, currently unpopular version of prehistory.

One of the signs of a fairly advanced society is mining and metalworking. If we could find evidence of such in the stone-age, that would go a long way in proving our point. The very word “stone-age” is so called because metal was supposedly not used until a few thousand years ago.

Prehistoric Mining

One of the best cases for “prehistoric mining” and metal use can be found in Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa, famous for its copper mines and the largest waterfalls in the world (the Victoria Falls).

What it should also be famous for, in my opinion, are 28 000 year old manganese mines at Chowa, near Broken Hill (not far from its capital Lusaka). Manganese (image below) is a metal frequently used in modern industry for stainless steel and aluminum alloys. If the ancients built spaceships, manganese would have certainly come in handy.



The mine was first researched in-depth and written about by the world-famous Australian anthropologist and anatomist Raymond Dart in 1934. Dart, stationed at the University in Johannesburg, was best known for his discoveries of ancient hominid fossils. His paper on the stone-age metal mine however, was widely ignored because it did not fit into any known data about the stone age. His Encyclopedia entry, his New York Times Obituary and many other “official sources” praise his groundbreaking work on fossils but make no mention whatsoever of his discoveries of this ancient mine.

The existence of the prehistoric mine somewhat returned to public consciousness through a 1967 article in Nature magazine. This is where it was noticed by anomalies-researcher William Corliss and, through him, brought to the “alternative history crowd”. R.A. Dart sent samples of the charcoal nodules of the mine to Yale University and the University of Groningen (Netherlands) who carbon dated them to somewhere between 22 and 28 000 B.C.

Nature magazine being a “high reputation source” in the field, should have sparked further investigation. But even after that, the mines were still widely ignored. We tend to ignore whatever does not fit into our belief-system. Nobody wants to re-write all history books just because of one exception (or what is thought to be just one exception – this mine is not the only prehistoric one).

Some authors have noted that the mine in Zambia may coincide with the mysterious skull of the Rhodesian Man, found very nearby.

rhodesian man bullet

The skull features what appears to be a bullet hole. The Wikipedia-page linked  makes no reference to the bullet hole, even though they show the picture of the skull with the hole. Writes fringe-author Rene Noorbergen in a book chapter titled “Who Shot the Rhodesian Man?”

…The Museum of Natural History in London exhibits a
Neanderthal skull discovered near Broken Hill, in Rhodesia, in
1921. On the left side of the skull is a hole, perfectly round.
There are none of the radial cracks that would have resulted had
the hole been caused by a weapon such as an arrow or a spear.
Only a high-speed projectile such as a bullet could have made
such a hole. The skull directly opposite the hole is shattered,
having been blown out from the inside. This same feature is seen
in modern victims of head wounds received from shots from a
high-powered rifle. No slower projectile could have produced
either the neat hole or the shattering effect. A German forensic
authority from Berlin has positively stated that the cranial
damage to Rhodesian man’s skull could not have been caused by
anything but a bullet. If a bullet was indeed fired at Rhodesian
man, then we may have to evaluate this in the light of two
possible conclusions: Either the Rhodesian remains are not as old
as claimed, at most two or three centuries, and he was shot by a
European colonizer or explorer; or the bones are as old as they
are claimed to be, and he was shot by a hunter or warrior
belonging to a very ancient yet highly advanced culture.
The second conclusion is the more plausible of the two,
especially since the Rhodesian skull was found 60 feet below the
surface. Only a period of several thousand years can account for
a deposit of that depth. To assume that nature could have
accumulated that much debris and soil over only two or three
hundred years would be ridiculous. Rhodesian man was shot by a
high-velocity projectile, but the bullet that killed him must
have been fired at an early period in human history.

Not surprisingly, Zambia is rife with prehistoric rock carvings, rock paintings, boulders and megaliths too numerous to present here.

Raymond Dart publicized an even more ancient mine, also in southern Africa, namely in Swaziland. The site on which mining seems to have occurred at least 50 000 years ago is referred to as “The Lions Cave”.  Quoting from an article:

When prospecting operations were carried out in 1957 in an area known as the Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya massif of Swaziland they estimated some 30,000,000 tons of iron with a mean value of 60% metallic iron content. The Swaziland Iron Ore Devolopment Corporation decided to mine the ore body and production started in 1964. The ore was taken by rail to the port of Maputo in Mozambique and from there shipped to Japan.

During the mining so many ancient stone tools were found that the news reached the archaeologist Professor Raymond Dart in South Africa. Dart sent a knowledgeable colleague called Adrien Boshier to investigate these finds and report back. What Boshier found was amazing, specialised stone tools made of dolerite, which is not a local stone, had been left behind by the early miners. These choppers, picks and hammerstones were not just on the surface but also deep underground. It seems that these early miners removed at least 1,200 tons of soft haematite ore rich in specularite from one particular mine, Lion Cavern, alone. The question was how old were these mines? Archaeologist Peter Beaumont was producing evidence which suggested that these mines had been operated in the Iron Age, Late Stone Age and possibly even Middle Stone Age. However, hard evidence was still required in order to put a more precise date on the ancient mines. Then in 1967 charcoal nodules from some of the more ancient adits were sent to Yale and Groningen universities for Carbon 14 testing. The results that came back were astounding, dates of around 41,000 to 43,000 were obtained. Later from another early mine complex the buried skeleton of a child was dated at over 50,000 years…

Image Below: Site of the Lions Cave (or Cavern) in Swaziland:

lions cavern ancient


My point: Mining operations require surrounding infrastructure, tools, skilled labor, knowledge of extracting and a whole lot of other “pre-knowledge”. But 50 000 years ago was supposedly the time of “Neanderthal Men” who walked around with large wooden clubs beating large beasts for dinner. According to accepted academic doctrine, they were unable to speak in anything other than grunts, much less articulate goals or organize sophisticated mining operations.

San Ramon 15, Chile

Until very recently, the oldest mine in the Americas was thought to have been the  5000 B.C. old copper mines in northern Michigan (which is impressive enough, actually. Who was mining copper in Michigan 7000 years ago? I must have missed something when I was in grade school, because I was taught that this was when civilization was just beginning it’s baby-steps in the Middle-East and wouldn’t reach the Americas for another 8500 years (15th Century).

According to a newspaper article

Archaeologists have discovered an iron oxide mine from 12,000 years ago in northern Chile, making it the oldest mine yet discovered in all the Americas, the El Mercurio daily says.

The iron oxide mined by the Huentelauquen Indians was used as a pigment in dying cloth and in religious rituals, revealing an unexpected sophistication in what was previously considered a primitive group of people, University of Chile researcher Diego Salazar said on Sunday.

Stone-Age Metalworking

Typing “stone age” into Google, it delivers the following definition right on its front page:

The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make implements with a sharp edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted roughly 3.4 million years, and ended between 6000 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking.

I keep having to rub my eyes and look up exact definitions of “official History” because I am confused: If the advent of metalworking was 6000 B.C., why were metals mined long before?

So I brought up the Wikipedia-Page on Metalworking where it says that the oldest evidence of metal mining were the copper mines in Iraq that date to 8700 B.C. The Google-Definition says 6000 B.C. The discoveries cited above tell a different story. Depending on who you ask, you`ll get different answers.

This page on the History of Gold is equally confusing:

Experts of fossil study have observed that bits of natural gold were found in Spanish caves used by the Paleolithic Man about 40,000 B.C. Consequently, it is not surprising that historical sources cannot agree on the precise date that gold was first used. One states that gold’s recorded discovery occurred circa 6000 B.C. Another mentions that the pharaohs and temple priests used the relic metal for adornment in ancient Egypt circa 3000 B.C.

Whoever wrote that piece might as well have said “We are clueless. Gold was supposed to have been discovered 3000 B.C….uh….no, sorry, in 6000 B.C……but there’s also something in 40 000 B.C.” It’s easy to see how the main problem lies with current orthodoxy that still insists that some time between 4000 and 6000 B.C. was “the beginning of civilization”.

And then there is the issue of countless “out of place artifacts”. As long as the current orthodoxy persists, everything that does not match it will be labeled “out of place”.  One of them are the now famous, so-called Klerksdorp Spheres, hundreds of small, grooved metallic spheres found in South Africa by miners and said to be “4.5. Million years” or even “Billions” of years old (according to rather questionable geological dating methods that disregard the possibility of cataclysmic earth changes. In my view the fossils and objects we find range back tens and hundreds of thousands of years, not Millions and Billions).

artificial klerksdorp spheres



klerksdorp spheres prehistoric aliens


It is widely claimed that they are natural geological formations. According to mainstream sources

“…professional geologists agree that the Klerksdorp spheres originated as concretions, which formed in volcanic sediments,ash, or both, after they accumulated 3.0 billion years ago”.

The spheres have perfectly aligned and straight lines etched through their center. Considering there is not only one of them but hundreds, it’s highly unlikely that these are “flukes of nature”. The defining characteristic to tell natural from artificial objects are straight lines, aligned spaces, rectangles, circles, spheres and any other thing featuring precise regularity. There are no natural formations in the world that feature this kind of regularity en masse.

Having seen images of the spheres, what sounds more bizarre? “These are natural concretions that are 3 Billion years old” or “these are manufactured objects of unknown origin and purpose?”.

Mining in Mythology

Not surprisingly, “mythology” (which are actually accounts of antediluvian prehistory, in my view) is full of references to mining. The ancient Greek God Promotheus, for example, was known for the mining of precious metals. Stories of precious metals are an integral part of the mythology across the globe, most prominently among the Greek, the Egyptians and the Sumerians. There are even mythological metals that have meanwhile become lost. Orichaclum is one of them:

“Orichalcum or aurichalcum is a metal mentioned in several ancient writings, including a story of Atlantis in the Critias dialogue, recorded by Plato. According to Critias, orichalcum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of Atlantis in ancient times. By the time of Critias, however, it was known only by name…

…The Romans transliterated “orichalcum” as “aurichalcum,” which was thought to literally mean “gold copper”. It is known from the writings of Cicero that the metal they called orichalcum, while it resembled gold in colour, had a much lower value…

…According to the Critias by Plato, the three outer walls of the Temple to Poseidon and Cleito on Atlantis were clad respectively with brass, tin, and the third, which encompassed the whole citadel, “flashed with the red light of orichalcum”. The interior walls, pillars and floors of the temple were completely covered in orichalcum, and the roof was variegated with gold, silver, and orichalcum. In the center of the temple stood a pillar of orichalcum, on which the laws of Poseidon and records of the first son princes of Poseidon were inscribed. (Crit. 116–119)

…Orichalcum is also mentioned in the Antiquities of the Jews – Book VIII, sect. 88 by Josephus, who stated that the vessels in the Temple of Solomon were made of orichalcum (or a bronze that was like gold in beauty). Pliny the Elder points out that the metal has lost currency due to the mines being exhausted. Pseudo-Aristotle in De mirabilibus auscultationibus describes orichalcum as a shining metal obtained during the smelting of copper with the addition of “calmia,” a kind of earth formerly found on the shores of the Black Sea.

See also: Orichalcum tool found underwater outside of Sicily

There are even ancient legends of metal working that have been scientifically verified with modern methods. Consider for example, the metal-making technique of “Wayland the Smith”:

“…Such as the tale of the legendary craftsman, Wayland the Smith, who turns up in a number of medieval saga’s and poems from Anglo Saxon literature.   Thidrik’s Saga tells of how he first produced the sword Mimming, but was unhappy with how it turned out. So he filed down the sword to dust, baked the dust into cakes and fed some starving poultry. He then collected the dropping from these birds, and distilled out the iron from this to forge a new sword. Then, not being happy with the results again – he repeated the whole feeding-birds-a-sword process again!

Apparently in 1955, this process was repeated by some French scientists (who fed the dust-sword to ducks rather than chickens). They also found a number of scientific reasons as to why this process may have improved the steel. One was that the biochemistry of the ducks digestive processes removed phosphorus – a common impurity found in bog iron”

(Side note: One could fill a whole book with details from “myths and legends” being scientifically verified in modern times)

The “History” of Metallurgy

While the prehistory of Metallurgy does not seem to be clear, it should also briefly be mentioned that even our official “History” of Metallurgy is not really clear either. It gets re-written every few decades, when new discoveries are made. A good example of this is the precious metal Platinum. For a long time it was thought that Platinum was “discovered” by Europeans. In fact, I have the distinct memory of learning that in school. As this article says…

“…In the 18th century platinum was a tough challenge to European scientists trying to understand and use the metal. Their difficulties came from the very properties which make platinum suitable for so many applications, such as its high melting point and its great resistance to corrosion. The problems were compounded by the other metals of the platinum group, which were present in raw platinum in varying quantities…” 

I also assumed that Platinum was a product of 18th Century Europe, until I discovered this quote a few years ago on the Internet (taken from the book “Secrets of the Lost Races” by Rene Noorbergen):

Contrary to what orthodox historians would like to admit,
our ancient ancestors seem to have inherited an extremely
sophisticated knowledge of metal-working from an earlier
civilization. Not long ago, pre-Inca Peruvian ornaments and
other objects made of platinum were discovered. This poses a
serious problem, because in order to melt platinum, a temperature
of about 1,755 degrees Celsius must be reached. We have no
satisfactory answer to the question of how the ancient Peruvians
were able to produce such a heat.

A recent example of pre-Columbian or even pre-Incan Platinum found in South America are the artifacts of the so-called “Tolita Culture” of Ecuador and Colombia. Three samples:

pre-inca platinum


ancient platinum


tolita platinum

The use of Platinum in ancient South America may not be “prehistoric”, but it was done long before Europeans even knew South America existed.

We`re lucky to live in the age of Internet, where updating the data when new discoveries are made, happens more rapidly. It used to be that it took years and even decades for school books to be updated. Now all it takes is a few edits on history sites. And yet, some still have not updated their data (see for example the article linked above, which references Platinum in ancient Egypt, but not yet in ancient South America).

In summary it can be said that the last word on ancient metal has not yet been spoken. If we are right and prehistory did indeed have advanced technology, spaceships, cars and whatnot, then there must be some evidence of mining (unless of course the technology was extraterrestrial). Even if much was destroyed in the Deluge, traces of extraordinary things should be expected to be found.