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Traditional inlay can be found in the Islamic world as far back as the 9th century. Traditional inlay usually involves materials such as tin thread, shell and different wood types, most commonly walnut. Historically in Syria, the shell would come from the Euphrates river, but artisans working in inlay today source their shell from further afield. Many artisans specialise in a single step in the inlay process, meaning that one inlaid piece can involve multiple people. In the Levant region, many of those who practise this craft are originally from Damascus. They are very few, but they are committed to preserving their craft by nurturing the next generation of young apprentices.