How Common Were Mirrors in Ancient Times?

Mirrors have been an essential part of human life for centuries. They are the objects that reflect light in such a way that they give a clear image of an object or person.

In ancient times, mirrors were not as common as they are today. Let’s take a journey back in time to explore how common mirrors were in ancient times.

Ancient Times

Ancient civilizations did not have access to modern technology like we do today. Therefore, mirrors were not as readily available as they are now.

The earliest mirrors were made of polished stone, copper, and bronze. These materials were hard to come by and required highly skilled craftsmen to create them.


The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to use mirrors. They used polished copper or bronze to create small mirrors that were used for makeup application and personal grooming. These mirrors had handles and were often decorated with intricate designs.


The Greeks also used mirrors made of polished copper or bronze. However, they also had access to silver which was considered a luxury item at the time. The Greeks believed that seeing one’s reflection could reveal important information about their health and well-being.


The Romans took mirror-making to the next level by creating large glass mirrors with a lead backing. These mirrors were expensive and only accessible to the wealthy elite.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, mirrors became even rarer due to the decline in trade routes and access to precious metals like silver and gold. Mirrors were still being produced but only for religious purposes such as decorating altars or for use in paintings.

Modern Times

It wasn’t until the 16th century that glass mirrors became more common due to advances in technology and manufacturing techniques. Glass mirrors became increasingly popular during the Industrial Revolution, and by the 19th century, mirrors were widely available for personal use.


In conclusion, mirrors were not as common in ancient times as they are today. They were considered a luxury item that only the wealthy could afford. However, mirrors have played an important role in human history and continue to be a part of our daily lives.