Grinding it Out | archeology |

Making a mirror the old-fashioned way...

Continuing from the recent Çatalhöyük news story of the Obsidian Mirror


Among the intriguing finds at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in central Anatolia are a few polished obsidian artifacts believed to have been used as mirrors. In a letter in response to an article, "The World's First City" (March/April 1998), which mentions the obsidian mirrors, P.H.M. Hawley wrote, "to make such a mirror requires considerable technology in a sense.


To grind a flat surface and then achieve a true polish is not easy" (May/June 1998, p. 11).


In an accompanying comment, Orrin Shane (an author of the original article and a curator at the Minnesota Museum of Science) said of the Çatalhöyük mirrors, "Their exceptional planar surfaces are highly polished and reflect a sharp image." I was curious just how difficult it would be and how long it would take to make an obsidian mirror.

Via David Connolly