Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Han Dynasty Mirror Workshop Discovered

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

BEIJING, CHINA—More than 100 stone molds, foundry pits, wells, and pipes have been found in eastern China, at the ancient city of Linzi. Located within the site’s industrial zone, the workshop produced bronze mirrors some 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty, when bronze mirrors, which had been objects owned only by the elite, were mass produced. The molds had been carved with images to decorate the highly polished metal objects. “It’s the first time that a bronze mirror workshop has been discovered, providing precious insights into technologists used for China’s ancient mirror making,” said Bai Yunxiang of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.