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Ancient Assyrian Lapis Lazuli Gemstone Earrings 3000BC $49.99


For Customers outside of USA

5,000 Year Old Ancient Assyrian Gold-Flecked Midnight Blue Semi-Precious Lapis Lazuli Gemstone Beads on (Contemporary) Sterling Silver French Hooks/Kidney Wires/Euroclicks/Ball-Stud Dangles.

CLASSIFICATION: Six Semi-Precious Lapis Lazuli Beads, Hand-Drilled Suspension Holes (Bow Drilled), Hand Shaped and Polished.

ATTRIBUTION: Ancient Assyria (Present-Day Armenia), Approximately 2,900 (3rd Millennium) B.C.

SIZE/DIMENSIONS: Approximately 10 carats (total gemstone weight).

Diameter: 4-6 millimeters (individual beads).

Height: 3-5 millimeters (individual beads).

Mount: High Quality Contemporary Solid Sterling Silver French Hook Earrings.

NOTE:: Can be remounted without charge to leverbacks, ball/stud dangles, euro-clicks, or kidney wires in sterling or 14kt gold fill. Other mounting styles including 14kt solid gold also available.

CONDITION: Exceptional! Gemstone beads are completely intact.

DETAIL: A gorgeous pair of sterling silver earrings featuring six genuine ancient midnight blue lapis lazuli gemstones, about 5,000 years old attributable to the ancient Assyrian culture. These dark blue gemstones possess glittering highlights of golden iron pyrite inclusions ("fools gold"). Pendants and beads constructed of lapis lazuli quite the fashion statement during the 3rd and 2nd Millenniums B.C., Lapis Lazuli being a highly favored semi-precious gemstone not only in Assyria, but in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Levant, as well throughout the ancient Mediterranean. Evidence suggests that lapis lazuli has been utilized as a gemstone for at least 10,000 years, making it along with pearls, turquoise, carnelian, and amber amongst the "oldest" gemstones utilized by ancient cultures for decorative purposes. There is even evidence that lapis lazuli beads and pendants were used as a form of currency by the ancient inhabitants of Assyria as well as throughout the ancient Mesopotamian region.

The ancient city of Ur had a thriving trade in lapis lazuli as early as the fourth millennium B.C. The ancient Greek, Phoenician, and Roman cultures also highly favored lapis lazuli. Renaissance artists used ground lapis as pigment for the fabulous blue in the era's masterpieces of art. Still very popular in Eastern Europe, the columns of St. Isaac's Cathedral are lined with lapis, and the Pushkin Palace (both in St. Petersburg) has lapis lazuli paneling over twenty meters (sixty feet) in height! These extraordinary ancient gemstones have been mounted onto high quality sterling silver french hooks of contemporaneous origin (USA manufacture). They are not cheap silver electroplated junk. They are quality settings designed to last a lifetime. If you prefer, the gemstones could be remounted onto kidney wires, lever backs, euroclicks, or ball-stud dangles if you would prefer; or remounted onto 14kt solid gold.

HISTORY: Most ancient jewelry typically used one or more of three gemstones; carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. Some of the most splendid ancient jewelry ever unearthed by archaeologists was found in Queen Pu-abi's tomb at Ur in Sumeria dating from the 3rd millennium B.C., and in the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen's tomb. In Queen Pu-abi's crypt she was laid to rest covered with a robe of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, carnelian, agate, and chalcedony beads. The lower edge of the robe was decorated with a fringed border of small gold, carnelian, and lapis lazuli cylinders. Near her right arm were three long gold pins with lapis lazuli heads, and three amulets in the shape of fish.

Two of the fish amulets were made of gold and the third was lapis lazuli. On the queen's head were three diadems each featuring lapis lazuli. The famous mask covering the head of Tutankhamen's mummy was inlaid primarily in lapis lazuli, with accents of turquoise and carnelian. Many other pieces of jewelry and various amulets fashioned from lapis lazuli were also found within the tomb. Lapis lazuli was also certainly popular in 3,100 B.C. with the Egyptians who used it in medicines, pigments, eye shadow, and of course, jewelry. Lapis lazuli has also been used since ancient times for mosaics and other inlaid work, carved amulets, vases, and other objects.

Assyrians trace their heritage to an ancient race of the same name, one of the few major factions which appeared after the collapse of the Akkadian Empire; the world's first Semitic empire created under Sargon I. At its peak, the Assyrian empire encompassed what is now western Iran, all of Mesopotamia and Syria, Israel, the Armenian highlands, and even threatened Egypt in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. The ancient Assyrians were masters of siege warfare, and subdued many other ancient peoples of the region. For these reasons, the ancient pre-Christian Assyrians were greatly feared by other ancient peoples of the region. Eventually however the Assyrians were one of the first nations to adopt Christianity as their state religion almost two thousand years ago.

Assyria proper was located in a mountainous region, extending along the Tigris as far as the high Gordiaean or Carduchian mountain range of Armenia, sometimes called the "Mountains of Ashur". Little is known about the ancient Assyrians prior to the 25th century B.C. The original capital city of ancient Assyria was Ashur, and was originally part of Sargon the Great's Persian Empire (circa 24th century B.C.). Destroyed by barbarians, Assyria ended up being governed as part of the Third Dynasty of Ur, before eventually becoming an independent kingdom about 1900 B.C. The city-state of Ashur had extensive contact with cities on the Anatolian plateau (present-day Turkey). The Assyrians established "merchant colonies" in Cappadocia which were attached to Anatolian cities, but physically separate, and had special tax status. They must have arisen from a long tradition of trade between Ashur and the Anatolian cities. The trade consisted of metal and textiles from Assyria that were traded for precious metals in Anatolia.

The city of Ashur was conquered by the Hammurabi of Babylon, and ceased trading with Anatolia because the goods of Assyria were now being traded with the Babylonians' partners. In the 15th century B.C. the Hurrians of Mitanni sacked Ashur and made Assyria a vassal. Assyria paid tribute to the Mitanni until they collapsed under pressure from the Hittites, when Assyria once again became an independent kingdom in the 14th century B.C., though at times a tributary of the Babylonian kings to the south. As the Hittite empire collapsed from onslaught of the Phrygians, Babylon and Assyria began to compete with one another for the Amorite lands formerly under firm Hittite control. The Assyrians defeated the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar when the forces encountered one another in this region. By 1120 B.C. the Assyrians had advanced as far as the North Sea on one side, the Mediterranean on the other, conquering Phoenicia, and had also subjugated Babylonia as well.

Thereafter for nearly two centuries however the Assyrian's grip over this vast empire steadily weakened centuries until when in 911 B.C. a strong ruler consolidated the Assyrian territories, and his success then embarked on a vast program of merciless expansion. In the mid ninth century B.C. the King of Israel marched in alliance with the Aramaic Kingdom against Assyria, the conflict ending in a deadlock, but a deadlock which presaged a withdrawal of Assyrian forces from the region of the Levant. The following centuries saw a continued decline of Assyria, the only exception being expansion on one front as far as the Caspian Sea. However by the eight century B.C. Assryia had again become strong under Sargon the Tartan, again conquering both Philistine, Israel, Judah, and Samaria.

In 705 BC, Sargon was slain while fighting the Cimmerians and was succeeded by his son who moved the capital to Momrveh. By 670 B.C. Assyria even briefly conquered Egypt, installing Psammetichus as a vassal king in 663 B.C. This proved to be the high water mark for ancient Assyria however. The Assyrian King Ashurbanipal had promoted art and culture and had a vast library of cuneiform tablets at Nineveh, but upon his death in 627 B.C., the Assyrian Empire began to disintegrate rapidly. Babylonia became independent; their king destroyed Nineveh in 612 B.C., and the mighty Assyrian Empire fell and ceased to exist as an independent nation.

These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. We are the Southern Urals State Student Association for Archaeological and Anthropological Studies in Russia. We use the proceeds of our sales to buy used notebook computers, study and reference materials, and provide meaningful part-time and full-time employment for our undergraduate and postgraduate association members. We also help support other institutions and organizations within Russia involved in the study of anthropology and archaeology. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

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