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Ancient Lapis Lazuli Center Barrel Bead with Carnelian and Lapis Beads


Swat Valley


Lapis Lazuli, Carnelian, Silver


The necklace is 22 3/8 inches (57 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 37.8 gm.







A necklace of forty-five lapis lazuli beads and eighteen carnelian beads. Fifteen of the lapis beads are long cylinders and fifteen of the carnelian beads are long barrel shaped beads. Each of the lapis tube beads are faced with a granulated silver bead, thirty-two in all, and each of the carnelian beads is faced with a lapis lazuli bead. At the center of the necklace there are an additional pair of carnelian beads on either side of the long lapis lazuli center bead. The center bead is 2.9 cm in length, 8mm in width and has a drill hole diameter of 3mm. The pair of carnelian beads to either side are also 8mm in width. They are short discs 3.25mm in length with drill hole diameters of 2mm. The pair of lapis beads to either side are similar in dimension but the drill holes are much smaller, about 1mm. The pair of carnelian barrel shaped beads are as follows: 1.5 cm in length, 7.7 mm in width at the center, 4.5 mm in width at the ends and drill hole diameter of 2mm. The second one is 1.7 cm in length, 7.5mm in width at the center and 5.5mm wide at the ends. The drill hole diameter is 1.5mm. The remaining carnelian barrels are 1.4 cm 1.75 cm in length and 6mm in width. Most have holes of 1.5mm diameter. The third bead back from the center on the left side of the photograph has a larger hole diameter, 2.75mm and it is 1.7cm in length and 6mm in width at the center. It is slightly flattened so that the width is 6.5mm when measured a quarter turn from the original measurement. These differences from the other carnelian beads dates this from an earlier period. It may be more than a thousand years older than carnelians with smaller drill holes which are about two thousand years old. The lapis tubes are graduated in size towards the back of the necklace. In the front they are 1.4 cm in length, and the decrease in length by about 1mm until at the back they are about 9mm in length. The thickness decreases slightly to about 5mm. The drill hole diameters on the tubes is 2mm. There are thirty-two granulated silver beads in the necklace. Thirty of these are composed of ten grains in a five pointed star arrangement. The beading tips and hook and eye clasp are also fine (999) silver.