AFRICAN HISTORY (EPISODE 2) : LAPIS LAZULI IN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION
The use of Lapis Lazuli in our most recent collection was inspired by the prized stone in Ancient Egyptian Civilization.Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious stone formed from an intense blue metamorphic rock whose origin was believed to be northeastern Afghanistan and found its way to Ancient Egypt through merchant trade. Historically, Lapis Lazuli was used to represent royalty, deity, prosperity, wealth, power, wisdom and influence. In Ancient Egyptian culture, these attributes made the precious stone exclusively reserved for Kings and Priests. The Priests used ground Lapis as a healing substance to cure illnesses including fever and as a relief for eye sensitivity. Royal and priestly garments were also dyed with Lapis Lazuli. The stone was used to make royal ornaments, jewelry and cosmetics, as well as in paintings.
For instance, the headdresses of the Pharaohs were made of gold and Lapis Lazuli. The mother of Pharaoh Khufu (of the 4th Dynasty), Queen Hetepheres, was famous for her silver jewelry which were usually inlaid with Lapis Lazuli. King Tut (of the 18th Dynasty) also wore a distinctive bracelet made of gold and Lapis Lazuli.
A lot of the jewelry and paintings found in the Pyramids and royal tombs in the Valley of Kings were also made from the precious stone. The rich blue color was used in paintings to reflect the Nile, Ancient Egypt's most prominent source of water (which indicated Life) and the Sky (which indicated divine connection).
The sacred use of Lapis Lazuli, however, extended beyond the Ancient Egyptian Civilization. Several kingdoms in medieval Asia, the Middle East and Europe also used it for this purpose.
In the book of Exodus in the Bible, Aaron and his sons were instructed to dress distinctively as Priests. The High Priest was to wear the breastplate of judgment (Exodus 28:18). The middle stone in the second row, named for Zebulun, the 5th of the twelve sons of Israel, was believed to be Lapis Lazuli, which was often referred to as Sapphire in subsequent texts.
| Posted on December 24 2020