Artificial eye blinks again after 4800 years of winks

TEHRAN, May 13 (MNA) -- The National Museum of Iran plans to debut the 4800-year-old artificial eye of the Burnt City during a showcase that opens next week.

Over 600 other artifacts discovered at Iranian archaeological sites over the past four years will also go on display during the exhibit entitled Symbols of Our Country, the Persian service of CHN reported on Wednesday.


The eyeball was discovered by an archaeological team led by Mansur Sajjadi in December 2006 at the 5200-year-old Burnt City, located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province.


The eye belonged to a large woman who was buried in Grave 6705. The archaeologists surmise that she died when she was 25 to 30 years old.


Studies show traces of an abscess in the upper arch of the eye, and tracks made by the eyelid are visible on the lower part of the artificial eye.


It has been made of natural tar mixed with animal fat.


The thinnest capillaries on the eyeball have been made with golden wires with a thickness of less than one millimeter for aesthetic reasons.


The pupil of the eye has been placed in the center of the eyeball and some parallel lines forming an almond pattern are visible around the pupil.


The eyeball has two holes in its two sides, which were used for fixing the eye in the eye socket.


The weeklong exhibition will open on May 18 to commemorate International Museum Day.


Photo: Archaeologist Mansur Sajjadi holds the 4800-year-old artificial eye, which was discovered at the Burnt City in 2006, in an undated photo.





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