JADE (nephrite; Pers. yašm, yašb, yašf, yaṣb). For at least two and a half millennia, Jade has been carved in the lands where Iranian languages have prevailed in various eras. The known material is often of extraordinary refinement, and testifies to an extensive influence on other jadecarving cultures, including the Chinese. Most of the major lapidary regions were in the eastern Iranian world, particularly in ancient and medieval Central Asia (q.v.), encompassing Sogdiana, Khotan (Ḵotan), and Bactria, as far as Farḡāna (qq.v.). This entry will be divided into three sections:

i. Introduction

ii. Pre-Islamic Iranian Jades

iii. Jade Carving, 4th century B.C.E to 15th century C.E

(Manuel Keene)

Originally Published: December 15, 2007

Last Updated: April 5, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIV, Fasc. 3, pp. 323-336 and Vol. XIV, Fasc. 4, pp. 337-339