AUD $2,800.00

Ancient Elamite Agate Eye Bead.

Here's an early classic "Evil Eye" bead, utilizing the natural colour bands of a striped agate. The stone has layers of almost black brown, cream and translucent browns. This bead is an ancient one from Elam, one of the earliest city civilisations situated in what is now SW Iran, but was once Persia and just east of the Persian Gulf.

We're now finding that this city was a manufacturing and trading centre for stone items and utensils, which were then traded throughout Central Asia as far West as the Mediterranean. We have some of these "intercultural" vessels in our Antiquities Collection here on our website.

With an agate like this you cut one way to get stripes or cut the other way you create concentric circles, these circles are believed to be a powerful deterrent to Evil. (Evil averts its gaze when it meets a threatening eye or a mirror reflecting its own eyes.) It is from these "natural" Eyes that the whole tradition has evolved.

There are many fakes of these old beads surfacing, however we're fairly confident that this one is genuine.

It's said that the stone buried for such a long time develops a specific texture of round grains beneath the surface and rise to become visible on the surface. These grains are copied and duplicated by applying them to the surface with round punches or even grained rollers, this produces surface rings sometimes even overlapping each other. Whereas if you look closely at this one you'll find these circles are often deeper in the stone and more 3D like a round loaf of bread or a smaller version of this bead itself.

Drilled with a hole of about 1.5 mm, it will take tiger tail for threading and wear, or possibly a silk thread but not a chain or choker. 

Age: Circa 2,000 BC.

Size: L32 mm x W 31 mm x D 10 mm.

Weight: 16 grams.