The first examples of man-made glass date only to the last quarter of the 3rd millennium BC when glass beads were first made in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The first ancient glass vessels were made in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia and Egypt. These were made by molding on a mud or sand core which was made in the shape of the desired vessel. Viscous glass was applied to this core. The surface of the vessel was then decorated with threads of colored glass and teased into decorative patterns. The piece was then rolled on a flat surface and a handle and a base were added. The colours used in this early period suggest that the makers were trying to imitate precious stones such as lapis-lazuli and turquoise. The manufacture of glass vessels began at approximately the same time in Egypt and in northern Mesopotamia but it appears that the core technique was invented in Mesopotamia and introduced into Egypt later. The high-point of ancient Egyptian glass came in the El Amarna period (first half of the 14th century BC). The beautiful glass eye shown above, made of glass and gypsum is among the oldest glass objects in the world.