Oct 12, 2011
Oct 12, 2011

Mirror Back with Great Goddess

Mirror Back with Great Goddess

AD 400–550

Slate, pigment; other side originally inlaid with polished pyrite mirror

Overall: 20.1 x 0.2 cm (7 15/16 x 1/16 in.)

James Albert and Mary Gardiner Ford Memorial Fund 1989.65

Did you know?

This ancient Teotihuacan mirror may have been used in divination rituals.


An important female deity commands the watery scene on the back of this mirror. The face, bordered by ear ornaments and partially hidden by a nose ornament, appears beneath a huge headdress with the fringed eyes and curled proboscis of an abstract butterfly. The deity rests on a shell-studded water band and two adoring humans offer flowers or incense in a bag. Mirrors served as costume ornaments and perhaps were used in rituals to divine the unknown.

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