Indiana Jones 4 - Crystal Skull - CRYSTAL SKULLS

In the late 19th century, Eugène Boban Duvergé—a French antiquarian who was based in Mexico—was known as a dealer of “archaeological” objects. He provided crystal skulls which are now part of the Collections of the British Museum (in London) and the Musée du quai Branly (in Paris). Image online via Wikimedia Commons.


When Hernán Cortés arrived in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán (today’s Mexico City), he saw mounds of human skulls near a walled ball court. Some Mesoamerican scholars believe ball game participants (perhaps the losers, perhaps the winners) were pushed down a flight of stairs to be greeted by a weapon-wielding, head-chopping executioner.

Skulls were also important to Mayans. We find evidence of this in carvings, walls and hieroglyphics. But what of crystal, not human, skulls? What are we to make of them?

Mayan elders tell about crystal skulls created by their ancient ancestors. Some say the skulls, made of quartz, are the source of great knowledge. There is even a legend that thirteen such skulls, when gathered together from various places, will provide mankind with vitally needed information.

Some crystal skulls have been found. The British Museum has owned one since the late nineteenth century. Another is in Paris, a third at the Smithsonian. Are these skulls genuine Mayan artifacts? How old are they? Where were they located?

One of the most famous was reportedly discovered at the pre-Columbian Mayan ruins of Lubaantun (in today’s Belize) during 1924 (some accounts say 1927). Anna Mitchell-Hedges (the adopted daughter of the adventurer F.A. (“Mike”) Mitchell-Hedges (a real Indiana Jones) says she found the Mitchell-Hedges skull (sometimes referred to as the Skull of Doom) on her 17th birthday. Did her father "plant it" as a birthday surprise?

According to Anna, the Mayans (with whom she lived at the time) told her the crystal skull was created more than 3,600 years previously - and - that it had magical powers. Some years before she died (in 2007, just after her 100th birthday), she had her treasure examined by experts at London’s Museum of Mankind (part of the British Museum). Arthur C. Clarke’s story about the event depicts her, and the skull, making the historic trip. She was not pleased with the analysis.

According to the examining expert, the skull was made from Brazilian quartz. It cannot be carbon-dated because quartz contains no carbon. Scholars speculate whether Mike Mitchell-Hedges (who never said how it came into his possession) bought the artifact from someone (perhaps Eugene Boban, a Parisian known to have sold other crystal skulls) and then positioned it where his daughter could easily find it.

Believers in the skull argue that Anna’s discovery was genuine and the skull is, indeed, ancient and magical. Sceptics, including those who have examined other crystal skulls, say they (unlike the Nazca Lines in Peru) are works from a more-modern time.

What are the Nazca lines? And ... where are the stunningly beautiful Iguazu Falls?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: Jun 28, 2019

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"CRYSTAL SKULLS" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2008. Jan 20, 2020.
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