Friday, March 28, 2014

Beads adorning bones

In 2004, Siberian archaeologists uncovered the remains of a 25-year-old woman in a remote burial mound in the Altai Mountains. She had died between 2,300 and 2,400 years ago and was a kinswoman of the famous Princess Ukok, as well as a possible priestess. Her high status is based on the necklace she was wearing, which is made of 17 brightly-colored laminated glass beads (IMAGE ABOVE, MORE PHOTOS HERE). Until then, only single beads of the sort were found in the area and the jewelry may have come from as far as ancient Egypt. It was made by the later-named Millefiori technique in which glass rods are produced that show a multicolored pattern on cross-section when cut into beads. Andrey Borodovsky of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences comments, "The necklace has a striking variety of colours, beautiful shades of deep and light yellow and blue. I have worked with Altai antiquities for more than 30 years, and this necklace is probably the most beautiful find I've ever seen."

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