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Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2000 Mar;20(2):126-30.

Duplication of unique optical effects of ancient Egyptian lenses from the IV/V Dynasties: lenses fabricated ca 2620-2400 BC or roughly 4600 years ago.

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  • 1School of Optometry, University of California at Berkeley 94720-2020, USA.


Ancient (in fact, first known) lenses (ca. 4600 years ago) mainly from the IVth and Vth Dynasties of Egypt had truly remarkable and unique optical properties. These were parts of equally fascinating eye structures. These structures were fabricated as separate assemblies for insertion into funerary statues during certain brief windows of time (roughly from 2620-2400 BC, and 1750-1700 BC). These "eyes" appear to follow the observer as he/she rotated in any direction about these statues. In this paper, by simple means, we have recreated the optical properties of these unique lenses in the laboratory in order to help understand their special properties.

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