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11 January 2009
Bulletin published on 4800-year-old artificial eye

All studies on the 4800-year-old artificial eye from the Burnt City (Iran) have been published in an English-Persian bulletin early last week.  "The bulletin contains all comprehensive studies and analysis of the experiments carried out on the artificial eyeball," an expert on the Burnt City, Mansur Sajjadi, said.
     The eyeball was discovered by an archaeological team led by Sajjadi in late 2006 at the 5200-year-old Burnt City located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan Province. It belonged to a woman who died when she was 25 to 30 year 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.
     A joint Italian-Iranian archaeological team led by Sajjadi has begun the 12th season of studies at the city since last week. They plan to classify the information gathered during the previous seasons of excavation at the Burnt City.

Tehran Times (4 January 2009)

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