Saturday, 23 February 2008


During ancient times lapis was ground up and used for medicinal purposes as well as a cosmetic. The Egyptians used Lapis for seals, ground it for an eyelid cosmetic and often carved it into vases and figurines. Dark blue, also called "Egyptian" blue, was the color of the heavens, water, and the primeval flood, and it represented creation or rebirth. The favorite blue stone was lapis lazuli, or khesbed, which also meant joy or delight. It is thought that blue may have had solar symbolism because of some objects made from blue faience that carry a solar theme. There is also a theory that blue may have been symbolic of the Nile and represented fertility, because of the fertile soils along the Nile that produced crops. Because the god Amen (also spelled Amon or Amun) played a part in the creation of the world, he was sometimes depicted with a blue face; therefore, pharaohs associated with Amen were shown with blue faces also. In general, it was said that the gods had hair made of lapis lazuli. In a tomb painting of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, depictions of both the mummy and Anubis are shown with blue hair.

A golden Horus head from the Temple of Horus at NekhenBeads made from lapis lazuli have been found dating back to the Predynastic Period. Since lapis lazuli was imported from the Euphrates area because it was not native to Egypt, these early specimens show that extremely ancient civilizations had already formed trade routes. Here are two Egyptian scarabs carved from this precious rock.

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