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Peering Through Time: Early Mesoamerican Mirrors for Grooming and Divination

August 16, 2019 - General
Peering Through Time: Early Mirrors in Mesoamerica - Elite Item and Divination Tool

Mirrors are known to have been used by human beings for thousands of years. The earliest examples of manufactured mirrors come from Anatolia (known today as Turkey). These were made from pieces of polished stone, and have been dated to around 6000 BC.

Over in Mesoamerica, it has been found that polished stones were also used to make mirrors. These, however, date from around the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. For the Mesoamericans, mirrors were not used merely as tools for personal grooming. Instead, they took on symbolic meanings as well, and were also often used for divination.

Although not the focus of this article, it’s worth mentioning that stone mirrors were created further south than Mesoamerica as well. One instance of this is the Inca culture, which also created obsidian mirrors. For example, an obsidian mirror in the collection of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris, France that was previously attributed to a shipment sent by Hernán Cortez in 1522, has recently been discovered to have actually originated in what is now Quito, Ecuador, when that area was ruled by the Inca.


Source: origins

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