Archaeologists have discovered an extraordinary evil eye necklace made of brightly-colored glass jewelry believed to be from Ancient Egypt, inside a 2,400-year-old burial mound in Siberia. The evil eye necklace, consisting of 17 identical glass eye beads executed in the millefiori technique, was found in a ‘princess’ burial in the Altai Mountains region of Russia. The eye necklace is also known as the ‘Cleopatra Necklace’ and is considered a unique find in this far east region. The researchers believe it was likely brought to the Altai area through trade with the Celto-Scythian Bastarnae tribes in eastern Europe and is a valuable discovery for understanding trade and the spread of technology between Europe and Asia in the late Iron Age.
The eye necklace was found on the skeleton of a 25-year-old woman who was believed to have been a virgin priestess. Even though the necklace was discovered nine years ago during a dig, the first picture of the priceless necklace has only recently been released by archaeologist Yelena Borodovskya. According to Dr. Borodovsky, “The evil eye beads were put on a string made from the tendon. Each bead is 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter, quite large. It was on her neck when she was buried, you can see it clearly in the picture which we took immediately after we cleared the dust off the necklace.” This discovery sheds light on the ancient trading networks and the cross-cultural interactions that occurred in the past.