The team at the Institute of Hellenistic Studies marveled at the tiny shard. It was typical of the terracotta fragments within their collection, though the micro crystals of silicon within it were finer, and more evenly distributed than in most samples. The decoration pigments were also nothing outstanding, but the piece had brought together experts, as well as the curious, from around the world.
“Doctor Patel, can you tell us more about the discovery?” Professor Johnson of the Institute asked, as the assembled scholars and academics viewed the overhead projection on the vast screen.
“Ah, yes, It was found on the second day of our survey in Sector Twenty. It was found in what was by all indicators dry stream bed. My support geologist came across it while taking sedimentation samples. It is purely serendipity that it was found.”
The room erupted into muttered conversations, and not for the first time since the discovery had been announced.
Oxford’s Professor Browning called out, “Doctor Patel, can you clarify for us exactly where Sector Twenty is?”
“Yes, it is located in the Isidis Basin, not far from our ISRO* Mars 2 landing site,” Doctor Pavel replied.
* Indian Space Research Organisation