Archaeological Museum/Varna

If the size of his burial trove and the scepter in his right hand are anything to judge by, this 6,000-year-old skeleton was once an important ruler in the ancient Balkans. His grave site was excavated in 1972, along with about 300 others, after a tractor accidentally unearthed a stunning Chalcolithic cemetery (c. 4500–4000 B.C.) in Varna, on the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea. The rich assortment of gold and copper ornaments found in many of the graves reveal that the Balkan Peninsula was a center of wealth and metallurgy long before the arrival of the Thracians in the first millennium B.C.