AUD $150.00

Ancient Bactrian, Pair Lapis Lazuli Beads.

 A pair of fairly closely matched ancient Bactrian six sided biconical Bactrian Lapis beads, one worn smooth and the other with a worn pitted old surface.

The colour varies over the length of the bead, one is bluer and more uniform, the other has more crystalline matrix and some brown.

The trade in Lapis Lazuli either worked into beads or raw chunks precedes the earliest civilisations and was a contributing factor in the creation of trade routes in the region. It was carried to Mesopotamia and Syria from the mines of Badakshan in North Eastern Afghanistan, where it has been mined for over 5,000 years. Stocks of unworked Lapis have been found in Mari in NE Syria and worked beads in the Royal graves of Ur. The goddess Ishtar was known as "Our Lady of Lapis" the Egyptians treasured it but had very little as it mainly came as State Gifts from Persia and Assyria, long before the trade to Europe began.

The hole is about 1 mm so it can be threaded on silk or tiger tail but not on a cord, chain or choker. On the darker bead one end has worn to an angle but it's not a disaster, you can either use a cap to cover it or I use a small (2mm?) bead as a pivot when threading.

Of course they aren't identical, but in sorting beads to thread, these caught my eye as a pair of similar size and shape that could easily be used in a necklace together. And as such they'll save you a lot of searching and pairing.

All the corners are smoothly worn and rounded, and in cross section it's slightly ovoid..

Here are some examples note the one on the middle left..

http://www.ancientbead.com/Various_Ancient_Beads.html

Age: Circa 200 BC to 200 AD

Size: L 26 mm x W 13 mm / L 25 mm x W 16 mm

Weight: 11 grams.