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    Jim Lemon

    Mercury is usually not “mined” but refined from an ore, almost always cinnabar. To collect a significant amount of elemental mercury without refining would require very large amounts of ore if small beads of mercury were present. The refining process is not as simple as that of many metals, as the mercury is vaporized and must be condensed to be recovered. If this method was used, it would suggest considerable technical sophistication for a civilization that old.

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