May 5, 2001 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A large, sophisticated civilization equal to Sumeria and Mesopotamia and thriving at the same time at least 5,000 years ago was lost in the harsh desert sands of the Soviet Union near the Iran and Afghanistan borders. But now details are beginning to emerge. This week I visited archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. There he has some exquisite pottery shards the Russian government gave him permission to bring back to the United States from his recent excavations in the Kara Kum desert of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the Iran and Afghanistan borders.
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