Coarse Glaze and Tender Queen Hatshepsut


How did the Egyptians guess that it is possible to do things without using clay, from glass alone, that is, from glaze alone? Another chance prompted them to this thought. Some potter covered his pot with a mixture of sand and soda too carelessly, sloppy; and then, instead of a thin, even film, a clot, a lump of glaze, turned out. This lump was so brilliant and beautiful, it looked like a gem!
 

Ancient Glass Beads
Ancient Glass Beads
The potter was a resourceful person: he decided to make a colored ball from glaze alone. He succeeded. So, without suspecting it, he discovered a new branch of human art - glassmaking.

Many, many centuries ago, the woman named Hatshepsut was a pharaoh of Egypt. She died by our standards early, in the thirty-second year of life. According to Egyptian custom, her body was turned into a mummy, laid in a sarcophagus and immured in dark rocks at the foot of the Libyan mountains. The luxurious tomb of Hatshepsut hid deep in the rocks; entangled tunnels with a carefully disguised entrance led into it. This was a necessary precaution: it was necessary to protect the tomb from the robbers.

No one has broken the silence of the tomb for more than three thousand years. And then the French archaeologist Lorre opened the way to it. And here is what he saw: two small stone freaks guarded the tomb. Sacred beetles - scarabs hung on chains on their chests. The freaks eyes were made of rock crystal. They flashed so terribly when a ray of light fell on them that almost all the workers fled, seized with horror.

Hatshepsut - Pharaoh Woman
Hatshepsut - Pharaoh Woman
 The mummy's face was hidden under a golden mask with sparkling, as if alive eyes. A silver diadem crowned the lifeless head, and signs of royal dignity: a golden eagle and a golden snake - were on her forehead.

But the archaeologist was most interested in not a golden mask and not a precious diadem, but beads. They were made of glass. A necklace of greenish-black shiny glass hugged the wrinkled, dry neck of the mummy. The beads were large, uneven. On each of the beads, it was possible to make out the inscription carved in hieroglyphs - the name of the queen. These small plain pieces of glass were made three thousand four hundred years ago!

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