For around 7000 years the extraordinary blue stone lapis lazuli has been mined from the same place in Afghanistan in response to an undying demand for this rich and rare colour. First appearing as beads, seals and amulets in burials of early Mesopotamia, it soon found its way along tortuous routes to the wider region. Join Dr Wendy Reade as we trace the trade, use and signi cance of lapis blue from the earliest evidence to its use as the expensive ultramarine pigment revered by European artists of the Renaissance. As lapis is still mined today, we are a orded a rare insight into the existence of the miners high in the Hindu Kush. Wendy is an archaeologist and an archaeological conservator at the Sydney University Museums, works in the eld in the Middle East, Egypt, the Balkans and Myanmar. She is President of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, and Honorary Associate in the Department of Archaeology at the University.