Radial routes ran outside Mesopotamia | Science News

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Radial routes ran outside Mesopotamia

Cold War–era imagery reveals transportation networks extended throughout Middle East

5:32pm, February 20, 2013

Spoke-like dirt paths extend as far as five kilometers from several ancient Mesopotamian cities that have been excavated in what’s now northeastern Syria. Although often regarded as transportation features unique to these more than 5,000-year-old sites, new evidence reveals similar radial paths in western Syria and southwestern Iran that date to as recently as 1,200 years ago.

Archaeologist Jesse Casana of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville made these discoveries by analyzing declassified, Cold War–era satellite images that show Middle Eastern landscapes before intensive farming erased all traces o

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