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On a day trip to one of Spain's old capitals, we don't just look at the city's buildings, but also scrutinize some of the rocks it is built on, along a path that runs along the Tagus River.

Featured article: Lapis lazuli: Following the trace of a blue gemstone

An original article by Kathelijne Bonne

From high mountain peaks to the pharaohs.  

Read how precious stone lapis lazuli found its way from the world's most ancient mines to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, and finally to the canvases of the great painters. Find out how lapis lazuli formed in the first place, as it crystallized in seams of precious rocks in the midst of plate tectonic turmoil.