World’s Oldest Artificial Eyball Found

The artificial eye was found in Iran and dates to about 5,000 years ago according to Times Online. from the article:

They said the eyeball consisted of a half-sphere with a diameter of just over an inch. It was made of a lightweight material thought to be derived from bitumen paste. Its surface was meticulously engraved with a pattern consisting of a central circle for the iris and gold lines “like rays of light”.
Lorenzo Costantini, leader of the Italian group, said the eyeball still had traces of the gold that had been applied in a thin layer over the surface. On either side of it two tiny holes had been drilled, through which a fine thread, perhaps also gold, had held the eyeball in place.

According to the article the eyeball belonged to a female:

“She must have been a very striking and exotic figure,” Professor Costantini told Corriere della Sera.He said the team had initially thought the eyeball might have been placed in the woman’s eye at burial. But microscopic examination had found an imprint left on her eye socket by prolonged contact with the golden eye. The socket also bore the marks of the thread, further proving that she had worn the eyeball in life.

Thanks to doctorgoo I have a picture of the eyeball to show you:

6 Responses

  1. So, she goes to the big dance, and she is a little concerned, because she just got a new artifical wooden eye. Her friends all tell her not to worry, amd finally she tries to have a good time, and decides to dance. There is a kind of cute prince with a hairlip on the other side of the dance floor, but she gets up her courage, and asks “Would you like to dance with me?” Well the prince is astounded, because he has a hairlip, and he din’t expect a beautiful princess to ask him to dance, so he jumps up and says “Would I? Would I? Wood I?” The princess immediatly bursts into tears and retorts: “Hairlip! Hairlip! Hairlip!
    And who says archaeology can’t be fun?! Go Figure!

  2. That’s pretty cool. Here’s a link that includes a picture of the eye, and a mock-up of what it might have looked like to wear it.

  3. Ahem Dr. Goo. Would it totaly scandalise the readers of the dailymail if I posted my story to them? Your ad vice please?

  4. I’m glad that they mentioned the wear pattern in the woman’s eye socket. My first thought was of the bizarre eyes of ivory and jade placed in Ipiutak burials in northwestern Alaska. (Here’s an URL to a photo
    On another matter, I wanted to let you know that the supposed pre-Clovis finds from Minnesota are starting to be debunked. I just posted a diary in my blog on the MN State Arch’s statement if you’re interested.

  5. doctorgoo – Thanks for the link. I was wondering what it looked like but didn’t have time to research it further.
    Brian – Thanks for the update
    J-Dog – apparently she was a prophetess, so she probably would have hexed him…

  6. This is almost as startling as the brain surgery in the Incas.

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