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December 15, 2012

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I spent a day at the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China earlier in the year and one can see the rare and splendid lapis-derived blue there as well. The uses seem many, from the color of offical's robes to the ether around the flying asparas to the skin of bodhisatvas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dunhuang_mogao_mural_cave_409.jpg
But as you noted, it is always used to denote high status, extreme beauty or a specialness of being.

Now, lapis is mined in many places, but back then (as long ago as th 3rd M BCE) it was traded with Mesopotamian kingdoms and China for the very highest quality goods. And thus, was the origin of the Silk Road. . .

Wonderful post!

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