Four Thousand Year Old Agate Barrel Beads Spaced with Lapis and Carnelian
Agate, Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, 20k gold
The necklace is 27 ½ inches (69.8 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 40 gm.
A necklace of nineteen ancient agate barrel beads alternating with groups of two lapis lazuli beads facing a short bi cone carnelian bead. There are eighteen carnelian beads and thirty-eight lapis lazuli beads in the necklace. The clasp and beading tips are 20k gold. The carnelian bi cone beads are 3.5 mm in length, 5 mm in width and have drill holes 2.3mm in diameter. They shows signs of chemical interaction with alkaline soil which typically whitens the surface and makes it opaque. Sixteen of the agate beads are over four thousand years old and the remaining three are over two thousand years old. The beads come from what is present day Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. They are contemporaneous with the great Indus Valley civilization and certainly were influenced by that culture. They were part of a vast trading network that also included the Sumerians. The beads were highly desired commodities and the technological developments that made the production of these beautiful beads possible is a major achievement.