Carnelian is a brownish-red mineral used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, harder and darker. Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide; the color can vary ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration. It is most found in Brazil, India and Germany; the red variety of chalcedony has been known to be used as beads since the Early Neolithic in Bulgaria. The first faceted carnelian beads are described from the Varna Chalolithic necropolis; the bow drill was used to drill holes into carnelian in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BC. Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts. Carnelian was used during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to carnelian. Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals and Phoenician scarabs, early Greek and Etruscan gems.
The Hebrew odem, the first stone in the High Priest's breastplate, was a red stone sard but red jasper. In Revelation 4:3, the One seated on the heavenly throne seen in the vision of John the apostle is said to "look like jasper and'σαρδίῳ'", and it is in Revelation 21:20 as one of the precious stones in the foundations of the wall of the heavenly city. Although now the more common term, "carnelian" is a 16th-century corruption of the 14th-century word "cornelian". Cornelian, cognate with similar words in several Romance languages, comes from the Mediaeval Latin corneolus, itself derived from the Latin word cornum, the cornel cherry, whose translucent red fruits resemble the stone; the Oxford English Dictionary calls "carnelian" a perversion of "cornelian", by subsequent analogy with the Latin word caro, flesh. According to Pliny the Elder, sard derived its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia from which it came, according to others, may be related to the Persian word سرد sered, meaning yellowish red.
The names carnelian and sard are used interchangeably, but they can be used to describe distinct subvarieties. The general differences are as follows: All of these properties vary across a continuum, so the boundary between carnelian and sard is inherently blurry. Carnelian List of minerals Allchin, B. 1979. "The agate and carnelian industry of Western India and Pakistan". – In: South Asian Archaeology 1975. E. J. Brill, Leiden, 91–105. Beck, H. C. 1933. "Etched carnelian beads". – The Antiquaries Journal, 13, 4, 384–398. Bellina, B. 2003. "Beads, social change and interaction between India and South-east Asia". – Antiquity, 77, 296, 285–297. Brunet, O. 2009. "Bronze and Iron Age carnelian bead production in the UAE and Armenia: new perspectives". – Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 39, 57–68. Carter, A. K. L. Dussubieux. 2016. "Geologic provenience analysis of agate and carnelian beads using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry: A case study from Iron Age Cambodia and Thailand".
– J. Archeol. Sci.: Reports, 6, 321–331. Cornaline de l'Inde. Des pratiques techniques de Cambay aux techno-systèmes de l'Indus. 2000. Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris, 558 pp. Glover, I. 2001. "Cornaline de l'Inde. Des pratiques techniques de Cambay aux techno-systèmes de l'Indus. – Bulletin de l'Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 88, 376–381. Inizan, M.-L. 1999. "La cornaline de l’Indus à la Mésopotamie, production et circulation: la voie du Golfe au IIIe millénaire". – In: Cornaline et pierres précieuses. De Sumer à l'Islam, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 127–140. Insoll, T. D. A. Polya, K. Bhan, D. Irving, K. Jarvis. 2004. "Towards an understanding of the carnelian bead trade from Western India to sub-Saharan Africa: the application of UV-LA-ICP-MS to carnelian from Gujarat and West Africa". – J. Archaeol. Sci. 31, 8, 1161–1173. Kostov, R. I.. "Complex faceted and other carnelian beads from the Varna Chalcolithic necropolis: archaeogemmological analysis". Proceedings of the International Conference "Geology and Archaeomineralogy".
Sofia, 29–30 October 2008. Sofia: Publishing House "St. Ivan Rilski": 67–72. Mackay, E. 1933. "Decorated carnelian beads". – Man, 33, Sept. 143–146. Theunissen, R. 2007. "The agate and carnelian ornaments". – In: The Excavations of Noen U-Loke and Non Muang Kao. The Thai Fine Arts Department, Bangkok, 359–377. Mindat article on carnelian Mindat article on sard
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been sourced during the era of the British Empire, it documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world; the British Museum was established in 1753 based on the collections of the Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened in Montagu House, on the site of the current building, its expansion over the following 250 years was a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997.
The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport, as with all national museums in the UK it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions. Its ownership of some of its most famous objects originating in other countries is disputed and remains the subject of international controversy, most notably in the case of the Parthenon Marbles. Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquities, the British Museum was founded as a "universal museum", its foundations lie in the will of the Irish physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, a London-based doctor and scientist from Ulster. During the course of his lifetime, after he married the widow of a wealthy Jamaican planter, Sloane gathered a large collection of curiosities and, not wishing to see his collection broken up after death, he bequeathed it to King George II, for the nation, for a sum of £20,000. At that time, Sloane's collection consisted of around 71,000 objects of all kinds including some 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, extensive natural history specimens including 337 volumes of dried plants and drawings including those by Albrecht Dürer and antiquities from Sudan, Greece, the Ancient Near and Far East and the Americas.
On 7 June 1753, King George II gave his Royal Assent to the Act of Parliament which established the British Museum. The British Museum Act 1753 added two other libraries to the Sloane collection, namely the Cottonian Library, assembled by Sir Robert Cotton, dating back to Elizabethan times, the Harleian Library, the collection of the Earls of Oxford, they were joined in 1757 by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscripts, assembled by various British monarchs. Together these four "foundation collections" included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf; the British Museum was the first of a new kind of museum – national, belonging to neither church nor king open to the public and aiming to collect everything. Sloane's collection, while including a vast miscellany of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interests; the addition of the Cotton and Harley manuscripts introduced a literary and antiquarian element and meant that the British Museum now became both National Museum and library.
The body of trustees decided on a converted 17th-century mansion, Montagu House, as a location for the museum, which it bought from the Montagu family for £20,000. The trustees rejected Buckingham House, on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace, on the grounds of cost and the unsuitability of its location. With the acquisition of Montagu House, the first exhibition galleries and reading room for scholars opened on 15 January 1759. At this time, the largest parts of collection were the library, which took up the majority of the rooms on the ground floor of Montagu House and the natural history objects, which took up an entire wing on the second state storey of the building. In 1763, the trustees of the British Museum, under the influence of Peter Collinson and William Watson, employed the former student of Carl Linnaeus, Daniel Solander to reclassify the natural history collection according to the Linnaean system, thereby making the Museum a public centre of learning accessible to the full range of European natural historians.
In 1823, King George IV gave the King's Library assembled by George III, Parliament gave the right to a copy of every book published in the country, thereby ensuring that the museum's library would expand indefinitely. During the few years after its foundation the British Museum received several further gifts, including the Thomason Collection of Civil War Tracts and David Garrick's library of 1,000 printed plays; the predominance of natural history and manuscripts began to lessen when in 1772 the museum acquired for £8,410 its first significant antiquities in Sir William Hamilton's "first" collection of Greek vases. From 1778, a display of objects from the South Seas brought back from the round-the-world voyages of Captain James Cook and the travels of other explorers fascinated visitors with a glimpse of unknown lands; the bequest of a collection of books, engraved gems, coins and drawings by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode in 1800 did much to raise the museum's reputation. The museum's first notable addition towards its collection of antiquities, since its foundation, was by Sir William Hamilton, British Ambassador to Naples, who sold his collection of Greek and Roman artefacts to
The Uruk period existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, following the Ubaid period and succeeded by the Jemdet Nasr period. Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization; the late Uruk period saw the gradual emergence of the cuneiform script and corresponds to the Early Bronze Age. It was during this period that pottery painting declined as copper started to become popular, along with cylinder seals; the term Uruk period was coined at a conference in Baghdad in 1930, along with the preceding Ubaid period and following Jemdet Nasr period. The chronology of the Uruk period is debated and still uncertain, it is known that it covered most of the 4th millennium BC. But there is no agreement on the date when it began or ended and the major breaks within the period are difficult to determine; this is due to the fact that the original stratigraphy of the central quarter of Uruk is ancient and unclear and the excavations of it were conducted in the 1930s, before many modern dating techniques existed.
These problems are linked to the difficulty specialists have had establishing synchronisms between the different archaeological sites and a relative chronology, which would enable the development of a more reliable absolute chronology. The traditional chronology is imprecise and is based on some key soundages in the Eanna quarter at Uruk; the most ancient levels of these soundages belong to the end of the Ubaid period. The Uruk period is traditionally divided into many phases; the first two are "Old Uruk" "Middle Uruk". These first two phases are poorly known, their chronological limits are poorly defined. From the middle of the 4th millennium, it transitions to the best-known period, "Late Uruk", which continues until around 3200 or 3100 BC, it is in fact in this period that the features which are seen as most characteristic of the civilization of the Uruk period occur: high technological development, the development of important urban agglomerations with imposing monumental structures, the appearance of state institutions, the expansion of the Uruk civilization throughout the whole Near East.
This phase of "Late Uruk" is followed by another phase in which the Uruk civilization declined and a number of distinct local cultures developed throughout the Near East. This is known as the Jemdet Nasr period, after the archaeological site of that name, its exact nature is debated, it is difficult to distinguish its traits from those of the Uruk culture, so some scholars refer to it as the "Final Uruk" period instead. It lasted from around 3000 to 2900 BC. In 2001, a new chronology has been proposed by the members of a colloquium at Santa Fe, based on recent excavations at sites outside Mesopotamia; the consider the Uruk period to be the "Late Chalcolithic". Their LC 1 corresponds to the end of the Ubayd period and ends around 4200 BC, with the beginning of LC 2, the first phase of the Uruk period, they divide "Old Uruk" into two phases, with the dividing line placed around 4000 BC. Around 3800 BC, LC 3 begins, which corresponds to the "Middle Uruk" phase and continues until around 3400 BC, when it is succeeded by LC 4.
It transitions to LC 5, which continues until 3000 BC. Therefore, although the chronology of the Uruk period is full of uncertainties, it is agreed to have a rough span of a thousand years covering the period from 4000 to 3000 BC and to be divided into several phases: an initial urbanisation and elaboration of Urukian cultural traits marks the transition from the end of the Ubayd period a period of expansion, with a peak during which the characteristic traits of the'Uruk civilization' are definitively established, a retreat of Urukian influence and increase in cultural diversity in the Near East along with a decline of the'centre'; some researchers have attempted to explain this final stage as the arrival of new populations of Semitic origin, but there is no conclusive proof of this. In Lower Mesopotamia, this takes the form of the Jemdet Nasr period, which sees a shift to more concentrated habitation, undoubtedly accompanied by a reorganisation of power. In Lower Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic Period begins around the start of the 3rd millennium BC, during which this region again exerts considerable influence over its neighbours.
Lower Mesopotamia is the core of the Uruk period culture and the region seems to have been the cultural centre of the time, since this is where the principle monuments are found and the most obvious traces of an urban society with state institutions developing in the second half of the 4th millennium BC, the first system of writing, it is the material and symbolic culture of this region which had the most influence on the rest of the Near East at this time. However, this region is not well-known archaeologically, since only the site of Uruk itself has provided traces of monumental architecture and administrative documents which justify seeing this region as the most dynamic and influential. At some other sites, construction from this period has been found, but they
Uruk was an ancient city of Sumer, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river, on the dried-up, ancient channel of the Euphrates, some 30 km east of modern Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq. Uruk is the type site for the Uruk period. Uruk played a leading role in the early urbanization of Sumer in the mid-4th millennium BC. At its height c. 2900 BC, Uruk had 50,000–80,000 residents living in 6 km2 of walled area. The legendary king Gilgamesh, according to the chronology presented in the Sumerian king list, ruled Uruk in the 27th century BC; the city lost its prime importance around 2000 BC, in the context of the struggle of Babylonia against Elam, but it remained inhabited throughout the Seleucid and Parthian periods until it was abandoned shortly before or after the Islamic conquest of 633–638. William Kennett Loftus visited the site of Uruk in 1849 and led the first excavations from 1850 to 1854; the Arabic name of Babylonia, which became the name of the present-day country, al-ʿIrāq, is thought to derive from the name Uruk, via Aramaic and via Middle Persian transmission.
In Sumerian the word uru could mean "city, village, district". In myth and literature, Uruk was famous as the capital city of Gilgamesh, hero of the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is believed Uruk is the biblical Erech, the second city founded by Nimrod in Shinar. In addition to being one of the first cities, Uruk was the main force of urbanization and state formation during the Uruk period, or'Uruk expansion'; this period of 800 years saw a shift from small, agricultural villages to a larger urban center with a full-time bureaucracy and stratified society. Although other settlements coexisted with Uruk, they were about 10 hectares while Uruk was larger and more complex; the Uruk period culture exported by Sumerian traders and colonists had an effect on all surrounding peoples, who evolved their own comparable, competing economies and cultures. Uruk could not maintain long-distance control over colonies such as Tell Brak by military force. Geographic factors underpin Uruk's unprecedented growth; the city was located in the southern part of Mesopotamia, an ancient site of civilization, on the Euphrates river.
Through the gradual and eventual domestication of native grains from the Zagros foothills and extensive irrigation techniques, the area supported a vast variety of edible vegetation. This domestication of grain and its proximity to rivers enabled Uruk's growth into the largest Sumerian settlement, in both population and area, with relative ease. Uruk's agricultural surplus and large population base facilitated processes such as trade, specialization of crafts and the evolution of writing. Evidence from excavations such as extensive pottery and the earliest known tablets of writing support these events. Excavation of Uruk is complex because older buildings were recycled into newer ones, thus blurring the layers of different historic periods; the topmost layer most originated in the Jemdet Nasr period and is built on structures from earlier periods dating back to the Ubaid period. According to the Sumerian king list, Uruk was founded by the king Enmerkar. Though the king-list mentions a king of Eanna before him, the epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta relates that Enmerkar constructed the House of Heaven for the goddess Inanna in the Eanna District of Uruk.
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh is king of the city. Uruk went from the Early Uruk period to the Late Uruk period; the city was formed. The temple complexes at their cores became the Eanna District and the Anu District dedicated to Inanna and Anu, respectively; the Anu District was called'Kullaba' prior to merging with the Eanna District. Kullaba dates to the Eridu period. There are different interpretations about the purposes of the temples. However, it is believed they were a unifying feature of the city, it seems clear that temples served both an important religious function and state function. The surviving temple archive of the Neo-Babylonian period documents the social function of the temple as a redistribution center; the Eanna District was composed of several buildings with spaces for workshops, it was walled off from the city. By contrast, the Anu District was built on a terrace with a temple at the top, it is clear Eanna was dedicated to Inanna from the earliest Uruk period throughout the history of the city.
The rest of the city was composed of typical courtyard houses, grouped by profession of the occupants, in districts around Eanna and Anu. Uruk was well penetrated by a canal system, described as, "Venice in the desert." This canal system flowed throughout the city connecting it with the maritime trade on the ancient Euphrates River as well as the surrounding agricultural belt. The original city of Uruk was situated southwest of the ancient Euphrates River; the site of Warka is northeast of the modern Euphrates river. The change in position was caused by a shift in the Euphrates at some point in history, may have contributed to the decline of Uruk. Arche
Ahura Mazda is the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is the highest spirit of worship in Zoroastrianism, along with being the first and most invoked spirit in the Yasna; the literal meaning of the word Ahura is "lord", that of Mazda is "wisdom". Ahura Mazda first appeared in the Achaemenid period under Darius I's Behistun Inscription; until Artaxerxes II of Persia, Ahura Mazda was invoked alone. With Artaxerxes II, Ahura Mazda was invoked with Mithra and Anahita. In the Achaemenid period, there are no representations of Ahura Mazda other than the custom for every emperor to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses, to invite Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles. Images of Ahura Mazda began in the Parthian period, but were stopped and replaced with stone carved figures in the Sassanid period. "Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *mazdáH. It is taken to be the proper name of the spirit, like its Vedic cognate medhā́, means "intelligence" or "wisdom".
Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdʰáH, from Proto-Indo-European *mn̥sdʰh₁éh₂ meaning "placing one's mind", hence "wise". The name was rendered as Ahuramazda during the Achaemenid era, Hormazd during the Parthian era, Ohrmazd was used during the Sassanian era; the name may be attested on cuneiform tablets of Assyrian Assurbanipal, in the form Assara Mazaš, though this interpretation is controversial. Though Ahura Mazda was a spirit in the Old Iranian religion, he had not yet been given the title of "uncreated spirit"; this title was given by Zoroaster, who proclaimed Ahura Mazda as the uncreated spirit, wholly wise and good, as well as the creator and upholder of Asha. At the age of 30, Zoroaster received a revelation: while fetching water at dawn for a sacred ritual, he saw the shining figure of the yazata, Vohu Manah, who led Zoroaster to the presence of Ahura Mazda, where he was taught the cardinal principles of the "Good Religion" known as Zoroastrianism.
As a result of this vision, Zoroaster preach the religion. He stated, he further stated that Ahura Mazda created spirits known as yazatas to aid him, who merited devotion. Zoroaster deserved no worship; these "bad" spirits were created by the hostile and evil spirit. The existence of Angra Mainyu was the source of all misery in the universe. Zoroaster claimed that Ahura Mazda was not an omnipotent God, but used the aid of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu. Nonetheless, Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu's superior, not his equal. Angra Mainyu and his daevas, which attempt to attract humans away from the path of truth and righteousness, would be destroyed. Whether the Achaemenids were Zoroastrians is a matter of much debate. However, it is known; the representation and invocation of Ahura Mazda can be seen on royal inscriptions written by Achaemenid kings. The most notable of all the inscriptions is the Behistun Inscription written by Darius I which contains many references to Ahura Mazda.
An inscription written in Greek was found in a late Achaemenid temple at Persepolis which invoked Ahura Mazda and two other spirits, most Mithra and Anahita. On the Elamite Persepolis Fortification Tablet 377, Ahura Mazda is invoked along with Mithra and Voruna. Artaxerxes III makes this invocation to the three spirits again in his reign; the early Achaemenid period contained no representation of Ahura Mazda. The winged symbol with a male figure, regarded by European scholars as Ahura Mazda has been shown to represent the royal xvarənah, the personification of royal power and glory. However, it was customary for every emperor from Cyrus until Darius III to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses as a place for Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles; the use of images of Ahura Mazda began in the western satraps of the Achaemenid Empire in the late 5th century BCE. Under Artaxerxes II, the first literary reference as well as a statue of Ahura Mazda was built by a Persian governor of Lydia in 365 BCE.
It is known that the reverence for Ahura Mazda, as well as Anahita and Mithra continued with the same traditions during this period. The worship of Ahura Mazda with symbolic images is noticed, but it stopped with the beginning of the Sassanid period. Zoroastrian iconoclasm, which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship. However, Ahura Mazda remained symbolized by a dignified male figure, standing or on horseback, found in Sassanian investiture. During the Sassanid Empire, a heretical form of Zoroastrianism, termed Zurvanism, emerged, it gained adherents throughout the Sassanid Empire, most notably the royal lineage of Sassanian emperors. Under the reign of Shapur I, Zurvanism became a widespread cult. Zurvanism revokes Zoroaster's original message of Ahura Mazda as the uncreated spirit, the "uncreated creator" of all, reduces him to a created spirit, one of two twin sons of Zurvan, their father and the primary spirit.
Zurvanism makes Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu of equal strength and only contrasting spirits. Other than Zurvanism, the Sassanian kings demonstrated their devotion to Ahura Mazda i
Hardstone carving is a general term in art history and archaeology for the artistic carving of predominantly semi-precious stones, such as jade, rock crystal, onyx, serpentine, or carnelian, for an object made in this way. The objects are small, the category overlaps with both jewellery and sculpture. Hardstone carving is sometimes referred to by the Italian term pietre dure. From the Neolithic period until about the 19th century such objects were among the most prized in a wide variety of cultures attributed special powers or religious significance, but today coverage in non-specialist art history tends to be relegated to a catch-all decorative arts or "minor arts" category; the types of objects carved have included those with ritual or religious purposes, engraved gems as signet rings and other kinds of seal, belt hooks and similar items and purely decorative objects. Hardstone carving falls under the general category of glyptic art, which covers small carvings and sculpture in all categories of stone.
The definition in this context of "hardstone" is unscientific and not rigid, but excludes "soft" stones such as soapstone and minerals such as alabaster, both used for carving, as well as typical stones for building and monumental sculpture, such as marble and other types of limestone, sandstone. These are not capable of a fine finish in small carvings, would wear in prolonged use. In other contexts, such as architecture, "hard stone" and "soft stone" have different meanings, referring to actual measured hardness using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness and other measures; some rocks used in architecture and monumental sculpture, such as granite, are at least as hard as the gemstones, others such as malachite are soft but counted as hardstones because of their rarity and fine colour. Any stone, used in jewellery is to count as a hardstone. Hard organic minerals such as amber and jet are included, as well as the mineraloid obsidian. Hardstones have to be drilled rather than worked with edged tools to achieve a fine finish.
Geologically speaking, most of the gemstones traditionally carved in the West are varieties of quartz, including: chalcedony, amethyst, onyx, heliotrope and quartz in its uncoloured and transparent form, known as rock crystal. The various materials called jade have been dominant in Mesoamerican carving. Stones used for buildings and large sculpture are not used for small objects such as vessels, although this does occur. For example, in the Uruk period of Sumerian culture heavy vases and ewers of sandstone and limestone have been found, but were not for common use, as the people of Uruk had well-developed pottery; the art is ancient, going back to the Indus Valley Civilization and beyond, major traditions include cylinder seals and other small carvings in the Ancient Near East, which were made in softer stones. Inlays of semi-precious stones were used for decoration or highlights in sculptures of other materials, for example statues had eyes inlaid with white shell and blue lapis lazuli or another stone.
Chinese jade carving begins with the carving of ritual objects, including blades for ji and dagger-axes never intended for use, the "Six Ritual Jades" including the bi and cong, which according to much literature represented heaven and earth respectively. These are found from the Neolithic Liangzhu culture onwards, blades from the 2nd millennium BCE Shang Dynasty on. Traditional Chinese culture attaches strong powers to jade; the Chinese and other cultures attributed specific properties for detecting and neutralizing poison to gemstones, a belief still alive in the European Renaissance, as shown by the works of Georgius Agricola, the "father of mineralogy". The English word "jade" derives from the Aztec belief that the mineral cured ailments of the kidneys and sides; the Han period saw the beginning of the tradition of fine decorative jade carving which has lasted until modern times, though the fine carving of other hardstones did not develop until the 17th century, appears to have been produced in different workshops and styles from those for jade.
In general whiteish nephrite jade was the most regarded in China until about 1800, when the deeper and brighter green of the best jadeite became more favoured. There are related Asian traditions of Korean jade carving, in Southeast Asia and, to a much lesser extent, Japan. Smallish Sassanian carvings are known for seals or jewellery. Egyptian carving of rock crystal into vessels appears in the late 10th century, disappears after about 1040. In 1062 the Cairo palace of the Fatimid Caliphate was looted by his mercenaries, the examples found in European treasuries, like the one illustrated, may have been acquired as the booty was dispersed; the rock crystal used in Egypt was traded from East Africa. Until it was thought that jade carving was introduced to the central Asian Islamic world in the Timurid period, but it is becoming clearer that archers' thumb rings, knife hilts, various other objects had been carved for centuries millennia before, though in limited numbers. Islamic jades and other carvings reached a particular peak in th
Pepi I Meryre
Pepi I Meryre was the third king of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt. His first throne name was Neferdjahor which the king altered to Meryre meaning "beloved of Rê". Pepi was the son of Teti and Iput, who may have been a daughter of Unas, the last pharaoh of the previous dynasty, his two most important wives and the mothers of his two successors were Ankhesenpepi I and Ankhesenpepi II. Other known wives include Meritites IV, Nubwenet and Inenek-Inti, who are buried in pyramids adjacent to that of Pepi, named in the tomb of her son Hornetjerkhet, a queen named Nedjeftet, mentioned on relief fragments, he had a son called Teti-ankh and two daughters, Iput II and Neith, who both became wives to Pepi II. Pepi I's reign was marked by aggressive expansion into Nubia, the spread of trade to far-flung areas such as Lebanon and the Somali coast, but the growing power of the nobility. One of the king's officials named. Pepi's mortuary complex, Mennefer Pepy became the name for the entire city of Memphis after the 18th Dynasty.
The decline of the Old Kingdom arguably began during Pepi I’s reign, with nomarchs becoming more powerful and exerting greater influence. Pepi I married two sisters – Ankhesenpepi I and II – who were the daughters of Khui, a noble from Abydos and Lady Nebet, made vizier of Upper Egypt. Pepi made their brother, Djau, a vizier as well; the two sisters' influence was extensive, with both sisters bearing sons who were to become pharaohs. An analysis of the South Saqqara Stone attests to a 25th cattle count, its highest, during the reign of Pepi I. Evidence indicates that during the reigns of Pepi I and Merenre I Nemytemsaf the cattle count was conducted biennially, thus suggesting a regnal length of 49 years. However, a 50th year of reign cannot be discounted due to a missing fragment of the inscription following; the Turin King List appears to list Pepi I with a reign of 20 years, while his successor Merenre I is accredited with a 44 year reign. This contradicts contemporaneous evidence from the stone whose highest attestation is the 5th cattle count.
The Egyptologist Kim Ryholt suggests. There has been some doubt regarding whether the cattle count dating system was biennial or more irregular; that the latter situation appeared to be the case was suggested by the famous Year after the 18th Count, 3rd Month of Shemu day 27 inscription from Wadi Hammamat No. 74-75 which mentions the "first occurrence of the Heb Sed" in that year for Pepi. as well as a Year after the 18th Count, 4th Month of Shemu day 5 date in Sinai graffito No. 106 as the French Egyptologist Michel Baud noted in a 2006 book on Egyptian chronology. This would be the year 36; this information is significant because the Heb Sed Feast was always celebrated in a king's Year 30. If Pepi I was using a biennial counting system during his reign, these heb sed inscriptions should have been dated to the Year after the 15th Count instead; this could imply that the cattle count during the 6th dynasty was not biennial. Michel Baud, stresses that the Year of the 18th count is preserved in the South Saqqara Stone and writes that: "Between the mention of count 18 and the next memorial formula which belongs to count 19, end of register D, the available space for count 18+ is the expected half of the average size of a theoretical compartment.
It is hard to believe that such a narrow space corresponds to the jubilee celebration, which had a considerable importance for this king."Baud notes that there was a tendency during this ruler's administration to mention the first jubilee in the years following its celebration—in connection with intense building activity at the king's funerary complex until to the end of Pepi I's reign when this pharaoh's highest date—the Year of the 25th Count, 1st Month of Akhet day --from Hatnub Inscription No.3. Appears; the South Saqqara Stone confirms. Therefore, the references to Pepi I's first jubilee being celebrated in his 18th cattle count are just part of this royal tendency to emphasize the king's first jubilee years after it was first celebrated and Michel Baud both note that the longest year compartment in the South Saqqara Stone appears "at the beginning of register D. Fortuituously or not, this compartment corresponds to year 30/31, if a biennial system of numbering is presumed" for Pepi I's reign.
Therefore, the count was likely biennial during Pepi I's reign and the reference to his final year—the 25 count—implies that he reigned for 49 full years. An artifact bearing Pepi's name found in a layer of a temple at Ebla, Syria destroyed in the 23rd century BC became one of the primary strengths for synchronizing the dates of the entire Old Kingdom of Egypt, however it has been pointed out that this evidence is weaker than desired, as it was found with a cache of artifacts from earlier pharaohs as well, which may all have been centuries old antiques by the time they reached Ebla. Pepi I had a pyramid built for himself in South Saqqara, which he named Men-nefer-Pepi variously translated as "Pepi's splendor is enduring" or "The perfection of Pepi is established"; the pyramid was constructed in the same fashion as others since Djedkare Isesi: a core built six steps high from small dressed blocks of limestone bound together using clay mortar encased with fine limestone blocks. The pyra