New insight into ancient Mesopotamian trade routes

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A team of social and earth science researchers, led by Dr Ellery Frahm, Marie Curie Experienced Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield (UK) Department of archaeology, have been making some remarkable discoveries in war torn Syria.

The research has centred around a study of samples of volcanic glass (commonly known as obsidian). By using modern scientific methods, in particular X-ray analysis, the team has been able to accurately identify the point of origin of several artefacts made from the obsidian. The level of accuracy has been such that the precise location on a specific volcano can be determined. The techniques employed also included measuring the weak magnetic signals of each piece and comparing it to a known and recorded site....

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