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Buried Roman Soldiers of Dura May Be Victims of Ancient Iranian Chemical Weapon
The Circle Of Ancient Iranian Studies ^ | Thursday, 10 March 2011 | CAIS

Posted on 03/09/2011 10:35:20 PM PST by OddLane

LONDON, (CAIS) -- Almost 2,000 years ago, 19 Roman soldiers rushed into a cramped underground tunnel, sent to defend the Roman-occupied Syrian city of Dura-Europos from an army of Persians digging to undermine the city's mudbrick walls. But instead of Persian soldiers, the Romans met with a wall of noxious black smoke that turned to acid in their lungs. Their crystal-pummelled swords were no match for this weapon; the Romans choked and died in moments, many with their last pay of coins still slung in purses on their belts.

Nearby, a Persian soldier — perhaps the one who started the toxic underground fire — suffered his own death throes, grasping desperately at his chain mail shirt as he choked. [Image of skeleton of Persian soldier]

These 20 men, who died in 256 CE, may be the first victims of chemical warfare to leave any archaeological evidence of their passing, according to a new investigation. The case is a cold one, with little physical evidence left behind beyond drawings and archaeological excavation notes from the 1930s. But a new analysis of those materials published in January in the American Journal of Archaeology finds that the soldiers likely did not die by the sword as the original excavator believed. Instead, they were gassed.

(Excerpt) Read more at cais-soas.com ...


TOPICS: History; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: ancientrome; biowarfare; chemicalwarfare; duraeuropos; godsgravesglyphs; persia; romanempire; simonjames

1 posted on 03/09/2011 10:35:22 PM PST by OddLane
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To: OddLane

Interesting. I always thought they used Unicorns.


2 posted on 03/09/2011 10:40:48 PM PST by allmost
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To: SunkenCiv

Sulfurous odor ping.


3 posted on 03/09/2011 10:44:54 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Cacique

ping


4 posted on 03/09/2011 10:47:08 PM PST by OddLane
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To: OddLane

We found Saddam’s chemical weapons?


5 posted on 03/09/2011 11:21:03 PM PST by Publius6961 (There has Never been a "Tax On The Rich" that has not reached the middle class)
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To: OddLane

What an amazing history the Persians have, and look at them now. Or the Egyptians


6 posted on 03/09/2011 11:35:09 PM PST by mewykwistmas
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To: OddLane
Makes for an interesting story, but the evidence is virtually nonexistent. It's simple conjecture at best.
7 posted on 03/09/2011 11:44:26 PM PST by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: OddLane
Their crystal-pummelled

Sorry to nit pick but shouldn't that be pommeled or are we to think someone pummeled the swords with crystals.

8 posted on 03/09/2011 11:49:00 PM PST by calex59
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To: Publius6961
Speaking as someone who's not a forensic archaeologist, and has no particular expertise in this field, I'm going to say "yes."
9 posted on 03/09/2011 11:50:53 PM PST by OddLane
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To: Rebelbase
I always thought this event was more than plausible, if not true:

A principal source on the origin of the Black Death is a memoir by the Italian Gabriele de’ Mussi. This memoir has been published several times in its original Latin (2,3) and has recently been translated into English (4) (although brief passages have been previously published in translation, see reference [5]).

This narrative contains some startling assertions: that the Mongol army hurled plague-infected cadavers into the besieged Crimean city of Caffa, thereby transmitting the disease to the inhabitants; and that fleeing survivors of the siege spread plague from Caffa to the Mediterranean Basin.

If this account is correct, Caffa should be recognized as the site of the most spectacular incident of biological warfare ever, with the Black Death as its disastrous consequence.

After analyzing these claims, I have concluded that it is plausible that the biological attack took place as described and was responsible for infecting the inhabitants of Caffa; however, the event was unimportant in the spread of the plague pandemic.

From CDC.gov

I'm not so sure why the author feels the event was 'unimportant'.

10 posted on 03/10/2011 12:18:45 AM PST by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: OddLane

It sounds kind of early for chain mail.


11 posted on 03/10/2011 12:53:12 AM PST by chopperman
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To: calex59
Maybe the Persians were throwing quartz rocks at the Romans?

(Good catch, looks like there are a few literate folks among these "knuckle-dragging conservatives", huh! /sarc)

12 posted on 03/10/2011 4:47:12 AM PST by BwanaNdege
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To: calex59

Thank you. It bothered me too.


13 posted on 03/10/2011 8:33:34 AM PST by Ro_Thunder (I sure hope there is a New Morning in America soon. All this hope and change is leaving me depressed)
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To: BwanaNdege

That must be a Persian sword, it sure isn’t a Roman short sword.


14 posted on 03/10/2011 9:46:14 AM PST by calex59
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To: calex59
It was just a quickly grabbed photo of a pommel with a "crystal".

Wrong blade shape for Roman Short Sword.

Here's the correct shape


15 posted on 03/10/2011 11:37:14 AM PST by BwanaNdege
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To: Rebelbase; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

· GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach ·
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Thanks Rebelbase, good update. To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

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16 posted on 03/11/2011 4:35:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: OddLane

save for later reading


17 posted on 03/11/2011 5:07:40 PM PST by submarinerswife (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results~Einstein)
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To: BwanaNdege

Gladius, uh, glad he asked...


18 posted on 03/11/2011 5:35:04 PM PST by null and void (We are now in day 779 of our national holiday from reality. - tic. tic. tic. It's almost 3 AM)
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To: calex59
Sorry to nit pick but shouldn't that be pommeled or are we to think someone pummeled the swords with crystals.

I'm not sure, but it's possible that 'pummel' is an expression derived from 'pommel', and that to be "pummeled" is to be stricken with the pommel.

19 posted on 03/11/2011 6:20:04 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius; 300winmag; IrishCatholic; lookout88; Wpin; spetznaz; Smokin' Joe; HungarianGypsy; neb52; ...

Sword ping!!!


20 posted on 03/11/2011 6:21:08 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius

This means “The Dutch Oven” predates the Dutch!

Please add me to your ping list!


21 posted on 03/11/2011 6:26:10 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Grizzled Bear

Done! It’s not a high volume ping list, but they’re usually pretty interesting. :-)


22 posted on 03/11/2011 6:39:02 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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To: Ramius

Cool ping, thanks. The crystal pommel sword resembles a falcion type sword. The No.3 sword looks like the old 1832 foot artillery (sort of borrowed from the earlier French artillery sword).


23 posted on 03/11/2011 8:40:58 PM PST by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman

Well done, Mr. Bowman. Especially for an archery guy. :-)


24 posted on 03/11/2011 8:56:32 PM PST by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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