Mysteries and Riddles: from What Does a Mirror Begin?


Today, there is a mirror in every apartment or house — well, at least in the bathroom. But this simple household item has its long and difficult history.

The first mirror was ... a water surface. What could be simpler than to look at your reflection in a river or a lake? But you can't take a lake with you in your pocket, and fashionistas of all times and of all peoples wanted to have something more compact.

 Ancient Mirrors
Ancient Mirrors
 The oldest mirror, found by archaeologists, is about 7500 years old. These are polished pieces of obsidian (volcanic stone) from Turkey.

Before the invention of the glass version of the mirror, metals and minerals were widely used: gold, silver, bronze, copper, rock crystal, obsidian, - they were polished to a shine.

In ancient Egypt, mirrors were most often made of copper. In ancient Greece, mirrors were available only to rich people, and the poor continued to view their reflection in the water.

Mirrors of gold and silver were in themselves very expensive to manufacture. Because of that, they began to produce mirrors of copper and bronze.

Obsidian Mirror
Obsidian Mirror
But polishing bronze and copper to shine is hard work, especially given the fact that the surface oxidized over time and had to be polished again.

Mirrors existed in almost all ancient cultures. And most often mystical properties were attributed to them. Everyone remembers the beautiful myth of Medusa Gorgon and Perseus. Perseus defeated Medusa with a polished shield, in which the Gorgon saw her reflection and turned to stone.

There are legends about the use of mirrors by Archimedes as a weapon: first, the Roman fleet attacking Syracuse was blinded by numerous mirrors, and then the ships began to flash like candles. Beautiful legends ... Who knows, maybe there are some real events behind them.


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