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Cambridge University Science Magazine
The Duzdagi salt mine has been investigated extensively by researcher Catherine Marro and her team for the last ten years in the hunt for clues to ancient societies. Previously, the oldest artefacts found in the mine were dated to the second millennium BC. This dating was done on the remains of four workers that were found buried with their tools in the mine.

Then, in 2008, a new discovery pushed back the date of the first salt miners in Duzdagi. A French-Azerbaijani team found a large number of tools and ceramics, the oldest of which dated to 4500BC. Therefore, the Duzdagi mine is not only much older than previously thought, but it is in fact the oldest known exploitation of rock salt in the world. Artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age were found in abundance, suggesting that the salt was intensively mined at that time. Archaeologists are now hoping to further explore a large series of collapsed tunnels at the site to gain more insight into the ancient societies that made use of the salt deposits from the mine.

Written by Wendy Mak