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The remains of 20 men who died almost 2,000 years ago may have fallen foul to an early chemical weapon.
The 19 Roman soldiers were defending the Syrian city of Dura-Europos from the Persians when they rushed in to an underground tunnel and were met with a lethal enemy they couldn't fight with their swords - a wall of noxious thick black smoke. The remains of a single Persian soldier were also found at the scene.
These 20 men, who died in A. D. 256, may be the first victims of chemical weapons..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..