Crystal Skulls
Human Skull Hardstone Carvings made of Clear or Milky Quartz Rock



 
Crystal Skulls
Human Skull Hardstone Carvings made of Clear or Milky Quartz Rock


The crystal skulls are a number of human skull hardstone carvings made of clear or milky quartz rock, known in art history as "rock crystal", claimed to be pre-Columbian Mesoamerican artifacts by their alleged finders.

However, none of the specimens made available for scientific study have been authenticated as pre-Columbian in origin.

The results of these studies demonstrated that those examined were manufactured in the mid-19th century or later, almost certainly in Europe.

Despite some claims presented in an assortment of popularizing literature, legends of crystal skulls with mystical powers do not figure in genuine Mesoamerican or other Native American mythologies and spiritual accounts.

The skulls are often claimed to exhibit paranormal phenomena by some members of the New Age movement, and have often been portrayed as such in fiction.

Crystal skulls have been a popular subject appearing in numerous sci-fi television series, novels, and video games.


A distinction has been made by some modern researchers between the smaller bead-sized crystal skulls, which first appear in the mid-19th century, and the larger (approximately life-sized) skulls that appear toward the end of that century.

The larger crystal skulls have attracted nearly all the popular attention in recent times, and some researchers believe that all of these have been manufactured as forgeries in Europe.

Many crystal skulls are claimed to be pre-Columbian, usually attributed to the Aztec or Maya civilizations. Mesoamerican art has numerous representations of skulls, but none of the skulls in museum collections come from documented excavations.

Research carried out on several crystal skulls at the British Museum in 1967, 1996 and again in 2004 has shown that the indented lines marking the teeth (for these skulls had no separate jawbone, unlike the Mitchell-Hedges skull) were carved using jeweler's equipment (rotary tools) developed in the 19th century, making a supposed pre-Columbian origin problematic.

The type of crystal was determined by examination of chlorite inclusions, and is only to be found in Madagascar and Brazil, and thus unobtainable or unknown within pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

The study concluded that the skulls were crafted in the 19th century in Germany, quite likely at workshops in the town of Idar-Oberstein renowned for crafting objects made from imported Brazilian quartz at this period in the late 19th century.

Mystery of the Crystal Skulls

It has been established that both the British Museum and Paris's Musée de l'Homme crystal skulls were originally sold by the French antiquities dealer Eugène Boban, who was operating in Mexico City between 1860 and 1880.

The British Museum crystal skull transited through New York's Tiffany's, whilst the Musée de l'Homme's crystal skull was donated by Alphonse Pinart, an ethnographer who had bought it from Boban.

An investigation carried out by the Smithsonian Institution in 1992 on a crystal skull provided by an anonymous source who claimed to have purchased it in Mexico City in 1960 and that it was of Aztec origin concluded that it, too, was made in recent years.

According to the Smithsonian, Boban acquired the crystal skulls he sold from sources in Germany – findings that are in keeping with those of the British Museum.

A detailed study of the British Museum and Smithsonian crystal skulls was accepted for publication by the Journal of Archaeological Science in May 2008.

Using electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, a team of British and American researchers found that the British Museum skull was worked with a harsh abrasive substance such as corundum or diamond, and shaped using a rotary disc tool made from some suitable metal.

The Smithsonian specimen had been worked with a different abrasive, namely the silicon-carbon compound carborundum which is a synthetic substance manufactured using modern industrial techniques.

Since the synthesis of carborundum dates only to the 1890s and its wider availability to the 20th century, the researchers concluded "the suggestion is that it was made in the 1950s or later".

 
Some believers in the paranormal claim that crystal skulls can produce a variety of miracles. Ann Mitchell-Hedges claimed that the skull she allegedly discovered could cause visions, cure cancer, that she once used its magical properties to kill a man, and that in another instance, she saw in it a premonition of the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Many crystal skulls are claimed to be pre-Columbian, usually attributed to the Aztec or Maya civilizations. Mesoamerican art has numerous representations of skulls, but none of the skulls in museum collections come from documented excavations.


Project Camelot: Journeys with the Crystal Skull
There are a number of known crystal skulls in existence, but of these the Mitchell-Hedges skull is unique in its extraordinary craftsmanship.

It has been studied by both scientists and psychics with no conclusive proof as to how old it is or even how it could possibly have been crafted from a single large crystal.

Many, including Bill Homann, believe it to be a relic from Atlantean times, and the story he tells of what occurred when it was reunited with the Crystal Orb (recovered from a cavity in an undersea pyramid in 1970) is highly intriguing.



The individual crystal skulls are:

Mitchell-Hedges skull - Perhaps the most famous and enigmatic skull was allegedly discovered in 1924 by Anna Le Guillon Mitchell-Hedges. The skull is made from a block of clear quartz about the size of a small human cranium, measuring some 5 inches (13 cm) high, 7 inches (18 cm) long and 5 inches wide. The lower jaw is detached.

British Museum skull - The crystal skull of the British Museum first appeared in 1881, in the shop of the Paris antiquarian. This skull is very similar to the Mitchell-Hedges skull, although it is less detailed and does not have a movable lower jaw.

Paris skull - The largest of the three skulls sold by Eugène Boban to Alphonse Pinart (sometimes called the Paris Skull), about 10 cm (4 in) high, has a hole drilled vertically through its center.

Smithsonian skull - This skull was mailed to the Smithsonian Institution anonymously in 1992, and was claimed to be an Aztec object by its donor and was purportedly from the collection of Porfirio Diaz. It is the largest of the skulls, weighing 31 pounds and is 15 inches high.