Bid to uncover mystery of ancient necklace

8th Feb 2013

A picture of a priceless necklace believed to be from Ancient Egypt has been released for the first time in the hope of finding answers about its history.

Discovered by Russians in a Siberian burial mount dating back 2,400 years, the item of glass jewellery has been given the nickname Cleopatra's Necklace. It was found on a female skeleton which is thought to have belonged to a virgin priestess who was around 25 years old.

Archaeologists based in Siberia hope by releasing photographs of the brightly coloured necklace, made up of 17 beads, they will receive help tracing its origin from international experts.

Yelena Borodovska first found the artefact during an archaeological dig in the Altai Mountains nine years ago.

Professor Andrey Borodovsky of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Novosibirsk, said the necklace stood out as it was a vibrant blue and yellow. He said in three decades of working with finds from the Altai Mountains, this piece was probably the most beautiful he had come across.

He added the beads had been created using a technique known as Millefiori, which requires glass rods to be made containing multi-coloured patterns, which are only visible from the cut ends.

Professor Borodovsky has estimated the necklace is older than one of Ancient Egypt's most famous figures - Cleopatra. However, the Siberian Times said he was keen for help in establishing an accurate date for the piece.

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