Article ID: CBB603192530

Looking Through A Telescope With An Obsidian Mirror. Could Specialists Of Ancient Cultures Have Been Able To View The Night Sky Using Such An Instrument? (2016)

unapi

Convex cut mirrors manufactured from the volcanic glass obsidian had been known since Neolithic time (7400/7100 to about 6200 BCE) in Çatalhöyük, Turkey. A Herschelian type telescope made with an obsidian mirror (12 cm) allowed to see the Moon"s craters sharp and distinct, the phases of Venus as well as the discs of Venus and Jupiter. The moons of Jupiter however are not visible due to the low degree of reflection of the used obsidian mirror. A specimen with a much better reflection or a bigger one would result in improved views of celestial objects. The paper reports on the making of the telescope and its potential application. Moreover, as a general basis, the study addresses the prehistory and symbolism of mirrors, with special focus on a possible assignment for skywatching.

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Authors & Contributors
Lohrmann, Dietrich
Maillet, Arnaud
Sims, Lionel
Thomas Kreft
Felipe Criado-Boado
Otero, Xabi
Journals
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Signum: revista da ABREM
Science in Context
Publishers
Zone Books
Oxford University Press
MIT University Press
Harvard University Press
Cornell University Press
Akademie-Verlag
Concepts
Mirrors
Optics
Astronomy
Science and art
Moon
Scientific apparatus and instruments
People
Galilei, Galileo
Fontana, Giovanni
Zaccolini, Matteo
Leonardo da Vinci
Ibn al-Haytham, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan
Herschel, William
Time Periods
17th century
15th century
18th century
Renaissance
Ancient
14th century
Places
Spain
Italy
Venice (Italy)
Guatemala
Greece
Europe
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