17 November 2011

Presumptive "ocular prosthesis" found in the Burnt City

This isn't "new" news; the skeleton was discovered in 2006 - but I just got the memo, so to speak.
It has a hemispherical form and a diameter of just over 2.5 cm (1 inch). It consists of very light material, probably bitumen paste. The surface of the artificial eye is covered with a thin layer of gold, engraved with a central circle (representing the iris) and gold lines patterned like sun rays. The female remains found with the artificial eye was 1.82 m tall (6 feet), much taller than ordinary women of her time. On both sides of the eye are drilled tiny holes, through which a golden thread could hold the eyeball in place. Since microscopic research has shown that the eye socket showed clear imprints of the golden thread, the eyeball must have been worn during her lifetime. The woman's skeleton has been dated to between 2900 and 2800 BCE. 
To be quite honest, when I first saw the photo my knee-jerk reaction was that it was depicting The Death of a Squash Player.   But this is even more fascinating.  She must have been absolutely stunning - 6 feet tall with a golden eye.

8 comments:

  1. Cool! Reminds me of the Roman-era skull found with an artificial iron tooth. They figure the tooth (with a sharpened "root") was hammered into the jaw and held in place with thin sinews until it healed in place.

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  2. And all of her teeth.

    My verification word is "throb".

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  3. My impressive skull photo of the day is this one...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfschafer/3990631783/in/photostream/

    I'd never thought about a child's adult teeth waiting, unerupted, inside the jaw.

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  4. Goddess with a golden eye...? She has to exist in folklore somewhere

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  5. It's Xena, Warrior Princess!

    (yes, I'm joking...)

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  6. I would love to see an artist's rendition of what she would have looked like in life.

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  7. Very interesting, indeed. It does seems one could, if perhaps, create a spectacular character from this strange discovery of remains that had a golden eye and use it in a high-concept period fantasy film in the likeness of 'Troy', yet framed by a modern-day alien conspiracy that leads to a major discovery. (Okay, that may have been too much for a comment.)

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