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Bronze Age Lapis and Carnelian Necklace with Fifteen Spoon Pendants


Swat Valley


Lapis Lazuli, 20k gold


The necklace is 17 inches ( 45.3 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 21.5 gm.







A necklace of twenty four lapis lazuli barrel shaped beads faced with carnelian disc shaped beads alternating with fifteen lapis lazuli spoon pendants, each faced with two lapis lazuli disc beads separated with a 20k gold granulated ring bead. There are seventy-eight lapis disc beads and forty-eight carnelian disc beads in the necklace as well as thirty-eight gold granulated ring beads. A pair of granulated 20k gold beading tips and a hook and eye 20k gold clasp finish the necklace. The pendants graduate in size towards the back of the necklace. The largest is 1.4 cm in width, 1.78 cm in height and 3.2 mm in thickness with a drill hole diameter of 1.3 mm. The neck largest is 1.3 cm in width, 1.57 cm in height, and 3 mm in thickness. The drill hole diameter is 1.3 mm. The smallest of the pendants is 8.1 mm in width, 1.23 mm in height, and 4 mm in thickness. The drill hole diameter is 1 mm. The barrel shaped lapis lazuli beads are 6 mm 8 mm in length, 3.5 mm in width, a few are as short as 4 mm. The disc beads are 2 mm in length and 3 mm width. The drill hole diameters are 1 mm. Most of the largest pendants do not have perfectly round concavities on the front side, although nine of the smaller ones do. The larger ones have longer heights than widths and they tend to taper inwards towards the top, with the sides not being parallel to one another, giving more the impression of a scoop than a spoon. The larger pendants have a more shallow concavity than the smaller ones. Perhaps this is the result of using a large bit in a bow drill to form the concavities in the smaller spoons, and not using this technique in the fashioning of the larger spoons. In any case, there are some variations in the forms of the spoons. The use of the spoon form dates from the Bronze Age and continues for some time, perhaps even for several thousand years. They are found in present-day Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The exact symbolism of the spoon form is unknown, but may pertain to the idea of abundance and plenty.