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Lapis lazuli stone mines in historical texts and Islamic books

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Abu Rihan al-Biruni writes in the valuable book Al-Jamahir Fi Al-Ma'rifah Al-Jawahir

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Which country do you want to trade with?
  • Afghanistan
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  • Bahrain
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  • Iraq
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Abu Rihan al-Biruni writes in the valuable book Al-Jamahir Fi Al-Ma'rifah Al-Jawahir

Scientists have so far identified several mines for lapis lazuli, but only a few by lithological experiments approved. Abu Rihan al-Biruni writes in the valuable book Al-Jamahir Fi Al-Ma'rifah Al-Jawahir:

He also says: « Azure is called Arminaton in Rome». This book is the oldest work that mentions the existence of Lajevardi mine other than Badakhshan mine.

In the book of geography related to the sixth century AH. AH, Only the existence of Lapis lazuli mine in the mountains of " Sabar Maq " in Khorasan is mentioned. 

Iranian azure mines based on historical books
While the science of archeology and geology of the two mines of Badakhshan (in the fourth and third millennia BC and Quetta are called, Islamic texts associated with Azure mine in northwest Iran was confirmed.

In the eighth century, Ibn Battuta and Amoli only mentioned the Lapis Lazuli mine in Badakhshan. In the same century, in the book of Iraq Al-Jawahir in Al-Nafis Al-Atayb, for the first time, four types of azure, Badakhshan, Kermani, Georgian, and Desmari are mentioned.

Glazed brick panel with Aurochs - details of the Babylonian Ishtar Tor (Ishtar Gate) in the Istanbul Archeology Museum on October 30, 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey

In the tenth century, which includes the last period of writing this article, Bayhaqi and Mohammad Ibn Mansour mentioned four mines in the Kashani style in mentioning the azure mines. With the difference that instead of the Georgian mine, they call it the Karaji mine. Beyhaqi states this in determining the location of Karaj.

Lapis Lazuli – Gemstone Preserved in Time only shows you the tip of the iceberg when we talk about this magical gem. Lapis Lazuli is a deep blue semi precious stone. Its spiritual journey through the Silk Route to acquire the Lapis Lazuli for temples and churches superseded primitive quests. Historians believe the link between lapis lazuli and human beliefs dates back over 6,500 years. Maybe Lapis Lazuli really has these godly properties they apparently made use of. Lapis lazuli is found in Neolithic tombs in Mauritania and in the Caucasus. C) funeral mask with Lapis Lazuli. ) described “the sapphirus, which is speckled with gold,” a description which matches lapis lazuli. Theophrastus wrote about eighteen centuries ago, and read the Greek ideas about marble, pumice, onyx, gypsum, amber, pyrite, coal, azurite, realgar, orpiment, cinnabar, quartz, lapis lazuli, emerald, sapphire, ruby, diamond, and others. On Stones, Theophrastus said that exist a kind of false emerald and a kind of melted lapis lazuli like glass paste[3] and give us more details on the manufacture of kyanos chytos as a product similar to the real thing (probably natural lapis lazuli), but which became after firing. The ancient scholars mixed up Lapis Lazuli and sapphire because there was confusion when it came to mineral, rocks, semi precious and precious stones of the day because of the different cataloguing of earliest scholars as to specific points, qualities and attributes of a stone. Lapis Lazuli was also commonly used for religion shrines and for their artisans, painters and decorative elements on the altars of churches. Russian Czars praised the beautiful Imperial Egg designed by Peter Carl Faberge made in Lapis Lazuli. Wonderful news! Lapis Lazuli is also known for its healing properties. There was a myth of Lapis Lazuli as a cure for eye diseases. Alchemists propagated the old belief that Lapis Lazuli unleashed energy to remedy optical disorders. Lapis Lazuli was also the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. That`s why there’s an amazing display of a queens lapis lazuli beads, tiara and artifacts. Lapis Lazuli is a third eye chakra stone that will develop your intuition as well as amplifying and expanding psychic visions and clairvoyant abilities. Lapis Lazuli in a cartoon. Lapis Lazuli had, has and will keep having a significant importance in human life. C Lapis Lazuli was being traded westward from Afghanistan to the burial grounds of Mesopotamia. Royalty felt safer for the journey to the underworld if they could placate the gods with gifts of sacred Lapis Lazuli. In Lapis Lazuli – Mesopotamian´s Sacred Gem we will learn about important archaeological sites where impressive pieces art of Lapis Lazuli have been found. The importance of Lapis Lazuli to the people of Mesopotamia can be revealed when talking of the three heavens of Mesopotamian lore. The upper heaven, assigned to the god Anu, is made of luludanitu stone, commonly identified with the purest Lapis Lazuli. Never has Badakhshan Lapis Lazuli been so highly valued as it was intermittently over some two thousand years by the people of Sumer. Others such as sacred sanctifying Lapis Lazuli, might persuade the Gods to look more kindly on the new arrival. Lapis Lazuli or za-gin to the Sumerians of late third Millennium B. The deities of this ancient world were deemed to have a real passion for lapis lazuli. Maurizio Tosi in the 1970´s, Lapis Lazuli was one of the main findings. Among the Jiroft finds are Lapis Lazuli stamp and cylinder seals, beds and small pin heads, amulets, carved as humped backed bulls, sheep, lions, serpents and abstract symbols. C when Lapis Lazuli was making its way appearance. Like we have read in Lapis Lazuli Legends, our hero Gilgamesh was the ruler of Uruk around 2750 B. Uruk marks the beginning of the Lapis Lazuli craze in Sumer. It appeared most often on seals (some were made of lapis lazuli). Heavenly blue stars-studded Lapis Lazuli was found in these sites. ‘Now down the sloping passage comes a procession of people, the members of the court, soldiers, men servants and women, the latter in all their finery of brightly colored garments and head dresses of lapis lazuli and silver and gold and with them musicians bearing harps or lyres, cymbals, and sistra; they take up their positions in the farther part of the pit and then there are driven or backed down the slope the chariots drawn by animals, and these too are marshaled in the pit. The court ladies were dressed with golden lyres inlaid with Lapis Lazuli. It is a wooden box inlaid with Lapis Lazuli and shell. Another important finding was a lyre decorated with the bull´s head, whose hair, beard and eyes were of Lapis Lazuli. The findings of this incredible treasure was divided in three museums that were the Iraq Museum, the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia which had both helped finance the excavation. Most of the statues found in huge numbers in the temples are now in the Aleppo Museum have lost their Lapis Lazuli irises. Materials used for statuary and jewelry are an example of the ramifications of Mari´s trade, as that of Ur: gold, from Afghanistan or Anatolia, turquoise from eastern Iran, carnelian perhaps from Afghanistan or India, above all Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan. It is known as the Treasure of Ur because in the contents it was found a bead made of Lapis Lazuli inscribed with the name of a king of the First Dynasty of Ur, Mesannepada. This amulet is one of the superb examples of crafted Lapis Lazuli from the ancient world. Here it was found a cache of about twenty-two kilos of un worked raw Lapis Lazuli. A hym to Baal also describes the construction for him of “a mansion of brilliant Lapis Lazuli”. Lapis lazuli is one of the most popular stones from the beginning of human history. The properties and value of the stone is lapis lazuli are really exceptional. In ancient times lapis lazuli was especially appreciated because of its beautiful color and the valuable ultramarine dye derived from it. “Lapis lazuli is a sky-blue color. Even for 2-3 millennium BC, Sumerian queens proudly wore gold jewelry with lapis lazuli. Even on their last journey, the queens wearing jewelry with the dominant presence of lapis lazuli, while the mourners pronounced the spell: “Your beautiful lapis lazuli does not split the cutter in the underworld!” (“The Descent of Innin into the Underworld”), . In the large Sumerian city of Ur, the lunar god was depicted in the form of a bull with a lapis lazuli beard. In the Sumerian temples, crypts, tombs excavated in the 20th century, many items, real works of art encrusted with lapis lazuli were found, even the signs of dominion and court in Sumerian epics literally meant: “a measuring ruler made of lapis lazuli. The fact is that in Armenian, the word “ruler” is translated as քանոն (qanawn), which has another meaning “canon, law”, so it is not surprising that the ruler is a symbol of dominion and judgment, but why is the lazurite ruler? Yes, because the laws in Sumer came from the same place, from where lapis lazuli … . Many researchers quite reasonably believe that in Sumerians valued lapis lazuli more than any other precious stones. In the mythology of the Sumerians, the goddess Inanna (the predecessor of Aphrodite and Venus) travelled to the world of people with the help of lapis lazuli and measured the length of human lives. As lapis lazuli very often mentioned in the Sumerian epic poetry, the stone became one of the main pointers in the problem of historical character. The fact is that neither in the Sumerian surroundings, nor anywhere else in the neighborhood with them, was possible to produce lapis lazuli, and even with such a magnificent quality. It follows from the same writings that the main suppliers of processed lapis lazuli to Sumer were the inhabitants of Aratta. Various hypotheses are proposed and, as I have already said, lapis lazuli is considered one of the main indicators for solving this problem. For example, it is known that such high-quality lapis lazuli can be extracted only in the north of Afghanistan in Badakhshan and therefore a hypothesis arose ( according to author V. lapis lazuli are collected from at its deposits for her [the goddess Innin]. There are many other hypotheses, mainly based on the idea of reexport of lapis lazuli, but I do not consider it possible and necessary to enumerate them. Meanwhile, among the other things, what else we have to talk about this problem, the world of science will still have to pay attention to Armenia as a country where lapis lazuli production has been strongly developed since ancient times. If this were not so, then it would be very surprising to see why the ancient Greek scholars Theophrastus and Pliny II in their works called lapis lazuli “Armenian stone”. This state of affairs is possible only if Armenians have already monopolized Theophrastspheres of processing and trade of lapis lazuli for many centuries before Theophrastus, that is, long before the 4th century BC. Moreover, according to the evidence of the Armenian historian Arakel Davrizhetsi, we can trace the ways in which lapis lazuli was transported from Badakhshan came to Armenia. With knowledge of this matter describing the characteristics of quality lapis lazuli, Araqel Davrizhetsi, writes that this quality “corresponds only to the stone mined in the mines of Badakhshan. ” About stones from Kash and Shamishaide Arakel responds scornfully, calling them counterfeit, while about lapis lazuli from Badakhshan speaks with admiration – “This is a genuine jewel!” And a little further he pronounces the next, very important for us phrase – “We get it from Uzbeks, “that is, those very indigenous inhabitants of northern Afghanistan. Certainly it is possible to assume that there is no reason to deny that this scheme of supplies of Badakhshan’s lapis lazuli was used from the deepest antiquity, when the sumerian cililisation existed and flourished. lapis lazuli is collected from at its deposits for her [the goddess Innin] ” which represents the real power of lapis lazuli. ” Are the Arattas engaged in the extraction and processing of lapis lazuli? It is possible, but more real, especially in the light of all of the above, I think that the direct participation in the extraction of lapis lazuli in the deposits of aratta was not accepted. As you know, any such import process is accompanied by the need to solve many problems, in particular, it should be assumed that in order to ensure the supply of qualitative lapis lazuli, the Aratta sent the delegations to Badakhshan, since the acceptance of Pliny the Senior Lazurite directly on the site of extraction would exclude the extra transportation costs for the processing of lapis lazuli and costs. Therefore, it was mutually beneficial for both parties and, probably, the Sumerians had information about this, which allowed them to say that the aratta collect (take away) Lapis lazuli from its deposits. Anyway, it is curious that lapis lazuli, being one of the main, if not the main point-indicating object for solving the problem of Aratta’s localization, is revealed as the object of attention of Armenian jewelers of ancient times, as evidenced by Theophrastus and Pliny. Thanks to this wonderful sky-blue Lapis Lazuli which was as a stone of Gods, it is possible to bring irrefutable facts about Sumerian and Armenian civisations and learn how they used it and in which aims. I hope you were inspired by influence of lapis lazuli in Sumerian culture. I would like you to invite you to online shop nammu where a lot of jewelry pieces with Lapis Lazuli are available. Commerce due to pilgrimage and trade has shown us an incredible exchange of knowledge between cultures like an exquisite glass goblet decorated with trails of Lapis Lazuli known as the “Luck of Edenhall”. In Lapis Lazuli in the Islamic World we`ll learn how pilgrimage helped the trade of our beloved lapis through large distances. Lapis Lazuli was a stone of such value that it was fundamental for a Muslim pilgrim. This Pilgrimage was dangerous and a Lapis Lazuli amulet was believed to protects one´s path. Beads cut from Lapis Lazuli have been crucial guides to the travels of the precious stone. It´s easy to imagine a hajj pilgrim setting out from the Oxus world with some pieces of beautiful Sar-i-Sang Lapis Lazuli in his bags. He would sell it carefully as he travels across Khurasan, then Iraq, perhaps also joining the Baghdad hajj caravan for safety. That second merchant might have taken the Lapis Lazuli to the stone carver (probably Jewish; the craft often seems to have been concentrated in Jewish hands) to have it turned into trade beads. Such networks of merchants linked to pilgrimage played a crucial role in the transmission of precious goods, specially our magnificent Lapis Lazuli. One of the most dominant colors is blue derived from finely ground Lapis Lazuli. The blue of the Luck of Edenhall comes from finely ground Lapis Lazuli as if made for pigment. All the Lapis Lazuli on it surely gives it a sacred role. Is the reason beautiful object like our magical Lapis Lazuli from across the world finished in the local bazaar or market. Lapis Lazuli has been tied to Islam since the Prophet Muhammad . Today I wanted to talk a little about the magnificent Lapis Lazuli from South America, The Chilean Stone. In Lapis Lazuli Chile I will talk about the other famous mines after the afghan mines. A discovering of a stone in 1921 with an arrow tip made of Lapis Lazuli near the Ovalle Cordillera helped discover that this rock was also known in prehistoric America by the Indian Diaguitas and other pre-Colombian cultures. The Diaguita Indians in the 4th century found Lapis Lazuli in Ovalle Cordillera, Coquimbo, Chile. Specializing on metal and ceramic work using Lapis Lazuli. The Incas expanded their empire near the mountains of Lapis Lazuli during the 15th and 16th century. Inca Tupac Yupanqui, grandfather of Huascar and Atahualpa advanced in lands of the “Araucanos”, the “Mollense” and the “Diaguita” whose women adorned themselves with Lapis Lazuli beads from Tulalwen. Field published the existence of Chilean Lapis Lazuli. The National Service of Geology and Minery of Chile informs that there hasn’t been Lapis Lazuli production since 2010. Sales of Lapis Lazuli on Chile are above the USD2million monthly. Nowadays Lapis Lazuli is also employed on the creation of jewelry especially in Chile. The Ministry of Mining declared Lapis Lazuli Chiles National Stone on November 23 of 1984 under decree 62. A beautiful city where you can find incredible quantities of Lapis Lazuli of all shapes and forms compared only with the warehouses found in Peshawar. Other craftsmen turned to Afghanistan and its magical Lapis Lazuli. His family claims that it was he who introduced Germany to Lapis Lazuli. Another traditional family dealing with Lapis Lazuli were the Mohrs. They immediately focused on the potential of Lapis Lazuli for the German market. If the gem cutters from Idar-Oberstein run low in Lapis Lazuli, they don´t have to travel anymore to Afghan Blue Mountains. New bulk shipments of Lapis Lazuli go now to China and Hong Kong, “The Gem Capital of the World”. Lapis Lazuli in the Mythical China tells us about the perfect combination of ancient Chinese culture and modern art. We´ll learn about the magical Medicine Buda and his Lapis Lazuli Pure Land. They traveled seeking for afghan horses and they found tiān qīng shí or Lapis Lazuli. This is the region where Chinese and the natives historically traded Lapis Lazuli and bartered. Lapis Lazuli, like in most of Buddhist art, is used brilliantly and extensively all around the grottoes. The Buddha of healing and medicine in Mahayana Buddhism commonly called the “Medicine Buddha” is also known as the “King of Medicine and Lapis Lazuli Light”. The most distinctive feature of this Medicine Buddha is his color, the deep blue of Lapis Lazuli. When the Medicine Buddha achieved Buddhahood he became the Buddha of eastern pure land of Vaiduryanirbhasa “Lapis Lazuli Pure Land”. Lapis Lazuli Pure Land is far to the east and its ground is made of lapis and its streets are paved with precious stones and marked off with gold. The Healing Master in his eastern Buddha realm known as Pure Lapis Lazuli is generally flanked by the two leading bodhisattvas of that pure land, Suryaprabha and Chandraprabha, respectively All-pervading Solar and Lunar Radiance. As explained in the first of these Four Tantras, the Lapis Lazuli Healing Master was once seated in meditation surrounded by an assembly of four circles of disciples including divine physicians, great sages, non-Buddhist gods and bodhisattvas, all of whom wished to learn the art of healing. He used abundant Lapis Lazuli in the construction of this magnificent complex regarded as a Taoist Temple. Chinese artisans made Imperial buildings (tiles) of lapis lazuli. It is also considered in the five famous Chinese wares (Bullion, jade, lapis lazuli, porcelain and bronze ware). The Chinese artistic and cultural richness of the Chinese ritualistic traditions combined with the skills of the craftsmen lead to magical lapis Lazuli pieces. Today I’ll talk about Russian use of Lapis Lazuli. In the Magnificent Blue Russia we’ll talk in detail about the exquisite Lapis Lazuli Imperial Egg, the magnificent Hermitage Urns and of course we couldn’t forget Saint Andrei Rublev with its famous icon of the Trinity. The caves of Lapis Lazuli are along the Angara River. The Lapis Lazuli caves are on the right slope of this river. Faberge designed the Lapis Lazuli Imperial Egg (1912)with six sections of overlay. The frame was on top of a Lapis Lazuli base. When the two sides were being cleaned the restorers found that Lapis Lazuli had been used for all its blue shades. Lapis Lazuli was an ingredient reserved for paintings of special importance, but in Russia it would have been even more highly regarded, perhaps brought north up the Volga by Armenian entrepreneurs. Rublev used Lapis Lazuli pigment spectacularly in the large icon (142 x 114 centimeters) of the Old Testament Trinity. Three Angels dressed most beautifully and expensively in strong Lapis Lazuli robes. At the end of the Great Hall of the Winter Palace you can find a gigantic, square, Lapis Lazuli urn positioned on a dais. He was the one who discovered Lapis Lazuli in 1785 on the Banks of the River Sludianka. Skilled craftsmen were experts at cutting the best parts of the Lapis lazuli, an almost purplish blue. It is not easy to track the use of Lapis Lazuli by the Afghans. Here the sacred role of Lapis Lazuli begins. Afghanistan’s location and the variety and abundance of its bountiful mines of gold, copper and precious and semi precious stones like Lapis Lazuli makes it an archaeological holy grail. Thank you very much for such a detailed work on Lapis Lazuli. For the Armenian part I can say that based on ancient accounts we know that the Lapis Lazuli was named “Armenian Stone” and there are various sources testifying in ancient times Armenia did produce that stone….

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