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5 Discoveries That Would Make Indiana Jones Proud

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Tell Mozan 1

5. Tools That Are Over 4,000 Years Old

University of Sheffield archaeologists recently found 4,200 year old obsidian tools in Tell Mozan, a site in Syria near its borders with Turkey and Iraq. Obsidian is naturally occurring volcanic glass and has been used for millennia to make stone tools; today, it is still used in scalpels for certain medical procedures. By examining the mineral composition of the obsidian, archaeologists were able to discover that the tools came from 200 kilometers away in eastern Turkey, revealing ancient trade routes and commercial interactions among ancient societies.

A comment from the leader of the research, Dr Ellery Frahm, shows how the study of the past can be valuable in the present and not only for our knowledge of historical events. As Dr. Frahm says:

The current situation in Syria is tragic and precarious. Because of both professional and personal interests, I follow developments in Syria closely. It can be so overwhelming and heartbreaking that I have to take a break from it, which, unlike the people who are living through the fighting, I have the luxury of doing. Whatever the future holds, there will be a lot of work to do there, both humanitarian and archaeological, and I’m very much interested in the interfaces between them. How can archaeology perhaps help Syria recover from this?

Ruins and tools lost long ago cannot speak. But what they can tell us — about our history, about the present day — more than merits preservation and study so one day we can indeed just go and read about such things online.

Photo of Tell Mozan via Wikimedia Commons

 

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11:35AM PST on Nov 26, 2013

awesome

1:04AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

and a left handed can opener

5:08PM PST on Nov 16, 2013

Thanks.

6:43AM PST on Nov 15, 2013

5 amazing discoveries indeed.
Which cause? Environment and wildlife? Archaeology?
I probably missed something.

4:24PM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Very interesting. Thank you.

4:23PM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Very interesting. Thank you.

7:28PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

TY!

7:27PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

TY!

3:56PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

ty

7:37AM PST on Nov 13, 2013

I do not plan on digging under my living room at retirement. He must have had some "premonition".

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