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High in the Hindu Kush

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Nicholson Museum

Manning Road

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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Join us for the next lecture in our 2017 Saturday series, High in the Hindu Kush: Afghanistan’s King of the Blues, by Dr Wendy Reade.

For around 7000 years the extraordinary blue stone lapis lazuli has been mined from the same place in Afghanistan in response to an undying demand for this rich and rare colour. First appearing as beads, seals and amulets in burials of early Mesopotamia, it soon found its way along tortuous routes to the wider region, inspiring imitation in the earliest known glass.

This lecture traces the trade, use and significance of lapis blue from the earliest evidence to its use as the expensive ultramarine pigment revered by European artists of the Renaissance. And as lapis is still mined today, we are afforded a rare insight into the fascinating and precarious existence of the miners high in the Hindu Kush.


Dr Wendy Reade is an archaeologist and conservator whose research interests lie in the study of glass and stone, and their significance in the archaeological record. Wendy is currently employed as a conservator at the Sydney University Museums, works in the field in the Middle East, Egypt, the Balkans and Myanmar on a range of projects, and lectured in Archaeology at the University for fourteen years. She is President of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation.


Image Credit: Lapis lazuli scarab amulet; Roman 30 BC - AD 395; Egypt. [NM00.209.1]

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Nicholson Museum

Manning Road

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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