Narrator: Now, listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.
Lecturer: These ancient ceramic disks certainly served some purpose, but it's still not clear what that purpose was. None of the theories you read about is very convincing when you consider the objects closely. First, the idea that the objects were used as cooking pans. That seems unlikely. Think of the pots and pans in your home. If they've been used for a while, they become blackened or discoloured in some other way as a result of having come into contact with high heat. Well, shouldn't we expect to find the same type of blackening or discoloration on ancient objects used as cooking pans? But the fact is, none of the more than 200 disks found so far exhibit such marks.
Second. The drum theory. Well, remember that the disks are ceramic. Ceramic disks of this size and shape would not make a very pleasant sound, even with an animal skin stretched over them. They just wouldn't sound the way a drum should. A ceramic drum would also have been heavy and hard to use. Drums made of wood and animal skins are much easier to make and play, and also sound much better. It's hard to understand why anyone would make a ceramic drum, when better materials for drums were available.
Third. The mirror theory. Well, to make a mirror, you'd have to fill the basin with liquid, place the disk on a horizontal surface, and then bend over it to look down at your reflection. But that would mean placing the disk with its decorated side down. In other words, the elaborate decoration would be entirely hidden from view. Why would ancient craftspeople have made elaborate decorations that no one could see? The metal mirrors that had similar decorations worked very differently. People held them up vertically, so anyone could see the decorations.