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Phoenicians



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Gene Detective
Photograph by Robert Clark

Looking for links between the Phoenicians and the people who live around the Mediterranean today, geneticist Pierre Zalloua of the American University of Beirut prepares to extract a tooth from a human jaw—perhaps up to 4,000 years old—found in a mountain cave at Raskifa, Lebanon. He and his research partner, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Spencer Wells, also collected blood samples from men in Lebanon, Syria, Malta, and Tunisia, among other areas that were once part of the Phoenicians' realm. The scientists will now look for an identical genetic pattern on the Y chromosomes of both the ancient tooth and the modern blood. Passed down through generations, the pattern may reveal who the Phoenicians were and where they left a lasting genetic legacy.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS-1V
Film Type: Fuji Provia 100f
Lens: 16-35 mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Evening
Lighting Techniques: Off-camera strobe and softbox used to balance shaded subject with sunlit background


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