Syria comes under spotlight

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Sheffield University research has revealed parallels between modern day and Bronze Age Syria as the Mesopotamian region underwent urban decline, government collapse, and drought.

Archaeologist Dr Ellery Frahm made the discoveries by studying stone tools of obsidian, razor-sharp volcanic glass, crafted in the region about 4,200 years ago.

Dr Frahm traced what happened when Bronze Age Syrian cities were abandoned in the wake of a regional government collapse and increasing drought due to climate shifts.

Dr Frahm said: “Unfortunately, the situation 4,000 years ago has striking similarities to today.

“Much like the fall of the Akkadian Empire, a governmental collapse is a real possibility in Syria after nearly two years of fighting.”