AUD $660.00

Ancient Bactrian Agate Bead.

 

Here's flattish, almost diamond, early "Evil Eye" bead, utilizing the natural colour bands of an olivey green/grey and off white striped agate. The stone has layers of milky beige/off whites and semi translucent olives and greys giving a deep tone.

This bead is an ancient one from Bactria (Afghanistan/Pakistan), but would actually probably have been processed in the Indus Valley, one of the earliest civilisations situated in what is now Pakistan. (the stones themselves were often mined and traded from what is now India around Cambay, on the coast of Gujarat.

We're now finding that this culture was a manufacturing and trading centre for stone beads, which were then traded by sea and land throughout Mesopotamia, Tibet, East Africa, Central and South East Asia.

With an agate like this you cut one way to get stripes or turn the stone round and cut the other way you create concentric circles. These circles are believed to be a powerful deterrent to Evil. (The Evil Eye averts its gaze when it meets a threatening eye or a mirror reflecting even its own eyes.)

It is from these "natural" Eyes that the whole tradition has evolved. The stripes alone were considered special and worn for their appearance, rarity and  protective values.

Drilled with a hole of about 2 mm (but smaller, maybe 1mm, where the two holes meet in the middle) it will take tiger tail for threading and wear, or possibly a silk thread but not a chain or choker.

This bead is one of a small collection we have been putting together for well over a decade and not newly bought by us.

Age: Circa 2nd Millenium BC.

Size: L  28 mm x W  17 mm x D  5 mm.

Weight:  4 grams.