A copper awl, the oldest metal object, was recently discovered in a grave at Tel Tsaf in Israel.  The awl dated to 5100 B.C. to 4600 B.C. and tells us that metals were traded much earlier than previously believed.  The woman in the grave died at about 40 years old and since she was buried with the awl it suggests she must have been a very important person.  She also had a belt made up of ostrich egg shell beads.  The copper awl is about .2 inches wide and 1.6 inches long.  In Huxley Memorial Lecture, D.J. Cunningham explains that Professor Hultgren had examined an awl and found it to be 170-180 when measuring its Brinell hardness numbers.

To read the full article by Charles Q. Choi on Live Science, click HERE.