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Ancient Lapis Lazuli and Carnelian Barrel Beads


Swat Valley


Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, Silver


The necklace is 20 inches (51 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 49.5 gm.







A necklace of thirty-seven ancient beads from the Swat Valley area of what is now northern Pakistan. There are twenty-eight barrel shaped carnelian beads, the majority of which have rounded tapering ends. There are nine lapis lazuli beads which separate the carnelian beads into groups of three. The center lapis lazuli bead is also a tapered barrel shaped bead. The combination of lapis lazuli and carnelian was very popular in ancient Mesopotamia. The reddish orange and dark blue colors undoubtedly held symbolic meaning with associative links to archetypes such as fire (and blood), and water in deep lakes. Wearing beads made from stones with these associations would provide protection and insure the wearers' health and well being.