In an astonishing find, researchers have discovered the world’s first polluted river in the history of Earth. Several rivers across the globe are polluted due to human intervention and governments are spending billions to clean them as these rivers are life for many. However, researchers didn’t know that river pollution is not new and Neolithic humans might have started polluting river nearly 7,000 years ago.
According to researchers, neolithic humans produced copper metals from ores which polluted the river. Lead study author Russel Adams from the University of Waterloo, Canada, says that he has found evidence of combustion of copper while scanning the riverbed in the Wadi Faynan region of Southern Jordan which suggests that people in that era polluted river while extracting copper from ore.
Researchers revealed that after the stone age, humans entered into the copper age where they learned how to extract copper from ores and make tools. According to reports, the Wadi Faynan region is the most ancient centers of copper production and copper industry expanded from this region. Several thousand years ago, there were smelting furnaces, mines and very first of the factories in the region for production of copper.
Scientists say that it is comparable to present scenario where we extract metal from ores and dump the waste in the riverbed. Similarly, people in ancient age produced copper at cost of river pollution.
“These populations were experimenting with fire, experimenting with pottery and experimenting with copper ores, and all three of these components are part of the early production of copper metals from ores,” said Adams.
“The technological innovation and the spread of the adoption and use of metals in society mark the beginning of the modern world,” he said.
Study authors further added people in early era kept copper product as a symbol of pride and as the demand increased, production of copper also increased and by 2600 BC, people built mines and large smelting furnaces and factories to increase the copper production. All these things added to river pollution.