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Proceedings Paper

Remarkable lenses and eye units in statues from the Egyptian Old Kingdom (ca. 4500 years ago): properties, timeline, questions requiring resolution
Author(s): Jay M. Enoch
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Paper Abstract

The first known lenses appeared during the IVth and Vth Dynasties (fabricated mainly between ca. 2500 - 2400 BC) of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Excellent examples of these lenses are found in The Louvre Museum in Paris and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. These lenses were components of eye constructs in statues and had unique qualities. In particular, the `eyes' appear to follow the viewer as he/she rotates about the statues in any direction. Clearly, this was an intended effect which can be readily photographed (and understood optically). The lenses were ground from high quality rock crystal (a form of quartz). They had a convex and highly polished front surface. On the plane rear lens surface as `iris' was painted. Centered in the dark- appearing pupil zone was an approximately hemispheric negative ground, high power, concave lens surface.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1999
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 3749, 18th Congress of the International Commission for Optics, (19 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354722
Show Author Affiliations
Jay M. Enoch, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3749:
18th Congress of the International Commission for Optics
Alexander J. Glass; Joseph W. Goodman; Milton Chang; Arthur H. Guenther; Toshimitsu Asakura, Editor(s)

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