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The Nimrud lens is a 3,000-year-old piece of rock crystal, which was unearthed by Sir John Layard in 1850 at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq.
The Nimrud lens (also called the Layard lens) is made from natural rock crystal and is a slightly oval in shape.
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Dating back thousands of years are numerous examples of ancient technology that leave us awe-struck at the knowledge and wisdom held by people of our past.
They were the result of incredible advances in engineering and innovation as new, powerful civilizations emerged and came to dominate the ancient world.
According to conventional perspectives, the telescope was invented by Dutch spectacle maker, Hans Lippershey in 1608 AD, and Galileo was the first to point it to the sky and use it to study the cosmos.
But even Galileo himself noted that the 'ancients' were aware of telescopes long before him.