Travelling from Faisabad we go to Sar-el-Sang, the lapis mine at the Blue Mountain. This mountain was the only source of lapis lazuli in the ancient world. Lapis beads have been found in Mesopotamian graves that date from 5,000 BC and the mine's number one shaft shows traces of prehistoric working with fire and bronze axes in caverns up to 150 feet high. The lapis for the Chinese carving celebrated in Yeats's famous poem and Tutankhamun's death mask was quarried here. The number one shaft is still being worked, making it the oldest continuously worked mine in the world.
Travel Afghanistan - Matthew Leeming
I would love to see this part of the world now it is opening up again. This guy makes a living out local gems.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
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