The Syrian elephant or Western Asiatic elephant was the westernmost population of the Asian elephant, which became extinct in ancient times. Skeletal remains of E. m. asurus have been recorded from the Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, from periods dating between at least 1800 BC and likely 700 BC. Due to the lack of any Late Pleistocene or early to mid Holocene record for Asian elephants in the region, it has been suggested to have been anthropogenically introduced during the Bronze Age, though this is disputed. Ancient Syrian craftsmen used the tusks of E. m. asurus to make ivory carvings. In Syria, the production of ivory items was at its maximum during the first millennium BC, when the Arameans made splendid ivory inlay for furniture.
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