Piece of lapis lazuli

Description

Lapis lazuli, undoubtedly the most well-known semiprecious stone in the ancient Near East, was highly esteemed for its beauty and prestige. It held symbolic significance and was closely associated with deities, often used in the creation of sacred artifacts. Around 4000 BC, the importation of lapis lazuli to Syria commenced, most likely originating from an Afghan region mentioned later by Marco Polo during his travels. The stone was transported in block form through land routes and subsequently carved into various decorative items, such as ornaments, amulets, and cylinder seals. By approximately 2500 BC, it appears that lapis lazuli was extensively utilized. The discovery of a lapis lazuli block in Ebla carries great importance, as certain cuneiform texts from the city suggest that Ebla had control over the trade of lapis lazuli from Afghanistan en route to Egypt.

  • Site: Tell MARDIKH, ANCIENT EBLA

  • Date: 2300 BC

  • Material: Lapis lazuli

  • Item Dimensions: 13 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm

  • Archaeological Mission:

  • National Museum Of Aleppo (2011) – ALEPPO M 11299/1

  • Index Code: Alp 0107/loc

Excavation Site Location

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