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from the trenches
Syrian Finds Volume 60 Number 1, January/February 2007

French and Syrian archaeologists discovered 9,500-year-old human skulls decorated with clay at Tell Asswad, a Neolithic site in the Damascus suburbs. Two of the five skulls were fashioned with startlingly realistic features, including eyes underlined by black bitumen. An infant skeleton lay on top of the skulls.

Elsewhere in Syria a Swiss team found the 100,000-year-old skeletal remains of a previously unknown species of giant camel. As big as an elephant, the 12-foot-tall camel was likely killed by humans as it drank from a spring.

Archaeologists also announced the discovery of seven more Early Bronze Age tombs from the site of Umm el-Marra near Aleppo, where a spectacular burial was found in 2000. It now seems the site was a royal cemetery.

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© 2007 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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