The Fool’s Gold

 

The mineral iron Pyrite, also known as the “Fool’s Gold”, Is an iron sulfide. Pyrites metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hues give it a superficial resemblance to gold, hence the well-known nickname of “Fool’s Gold”.

An interesting discovery was made by archaeologists excavating unusual ancient artifacts; they found more than 50 mirrors encrusted with the brilliant mineral Pyrite crafted in Mesoamerican style! Today, a mirror is a normal item of our daily life, but in the past, an item that could reflect an image was really expensive, and the techniques used to make them  with delicate flakes of pyrite glued to sandstone or other rock with adhesive likely made from tree resin hold the distinctive signs of Mesoamerican craftsmanship.

The use of mirrors in Mesoamerican culture was associated with the idea that they served as portals to a realm that could be seen but not interacted with. Mosaic pyrite mirrors were crafted across large parts of Mesoamerica in the Classic period, particularly at Teotihuacan and throughout the Maya region.

The Pyrite mirror artifacts served a number of uses from the decorative to the Divinatory.