Scientists unravel the mysteries behind 6,000-year-old amulet

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Technology has enabled scientists to figure out how a 6,000-year-old amulet resembling a wheel was created.

The copper object was found decades ago in present-day Pakistan, and it has been traced back to an innovative Neolithic settlement called the Mehrgarh.

As the Washington Post reports, researchers gained a unique view into the artifact with a method known as full-field photoluminescence which causes electrons to activate and emit light.

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Ancient warrior's grave unearthed in Greece
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Ancient warrior's grave unearthed in Greece
This picture provided by Greece's Culture Ministry on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, shows - after cleaning - a long gold chain, decorated with semi-precious stones and hammered-gold plant decorations, found in a 3,500-year-old warrior's tomb. Authorities say a 3,500-year-old, treasure-filled grave of a warrior has been discovered near an ancient palace in southern Greece. The Culture Ministry says the grave is the most spectacular discovery of its kind from the Mycenaean era in more than six decades. It contained about 1,400 artefacts, including gold and silver jewelry, cups, bronze vases, engraved gemstones and an ornate ivory-and gilt-hilted sword. (Greek Culture Ministry via AP)
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Scientists used this technique to measure different factors such as the type of metal used, the levels of oxygen that seeped in, and the temperature at which the substance melted and set.

Based on these results, they ultimately determined that the artifact was likely made through lost-wax casting where wax and clay are used to make a mold for metal objects.

As such, the amulet has become the earliest known piece made from this method.

Researchers think the small piece may have had some significance at the time but have not been able to confirm its true purpose.

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