Lubaantun’s famous Crystal Skull continues to draw rave reviews!
Friday, 07 July 2006
The famous Crystal Skull
Many stories have been written about the famous Crystal Skull which the late British explorer-archaeologist Federick A. Mitchell-Hedges bequeathed to his adopted daughter Anna.
Anna’s crystal skull is the largest and most beautiful of three skulls, all sculpted from the same crystal rock which is known to exist in the world today.
A recent story in the Pravda newspaer in Moscow about the skull refocuses the interest which people in Belize have in the skull, which was found at Lubaantun, and which, strictly speaking, is part of the Belizean patrimony.
The Pravda report states in part:
“However, some people state the researcher bought the thing at Sotheby’s in London in 1943. No matter what is the origin of the skull, this object of rock crystal is so perfectly worked that it is an invaluable piece of art.
“If we accept the first hypothesis saying the skull belonged to the Maya, then a great number of questions arise in this connection.
“Researchers state the Skull of Doom is in a certain way impossible from the technical point of view. The ideal copy of a female skull weighing five kilogrammes is so wonderfully perfect, it could hardly be achieved without some modern methods that Maya knew and of which we have no idea.
“The skull is polished perfectly. Its jaw is an articulate part detached from the rest of the skull.
“The skull... has been the point of interest of researchers from various spheres for a long period. And it is sure to draw their attention in the future as well.
“The Skull has been subjected to various analyses. It is incredible that the item made of fused silica with the hardness seven on the Mohs scale (the scale of mineral hardness from zero to ten) was worked without hard cutting rubies or diamonds.
“Hewlett-Packard studied the skull in the 1970s and stated it must have taken 300 years for numerous generations to rub a block of rock crystal.
The British Museum has a crystal skull which it acquired in 1898 from Tiffany’s in New York. It is life-size and finely carved from clear quartz rock crystal and is kept in the Museum of Mankind in London.
This skull is said to have been seen moving around by itself in its sealed glass case! The oldest records that exist for it say it was brought from Mexico by a Spanish soldier of fortune at around the middle of the last century but beyond that little is known of its true origins. A smaller, more stylised version of the British Museum skull can be seen in the Mus?e de l’Homme in Paris.
This skull was acquired around the same time as the British Museum skull, but again little is known about where it originally came from.
More recently, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington came into possession of a crystal skull, sent in by an anonymous donor in 1993.
This skull is larger than life-size with a strange, hollow interior. Attempts to track down the donor of this skull led only to his lawyer, who claimed the original owner had now committed suicide, apparently on account of ‘the curse’ the skull had brought on him!
An absence of proper archaeological records makes the true origins and purpose of these crystal skulls a mystery.
Although many archaeologists believe the skulls originated in Central America amongst the Aztecs, Mixtecs or possibly even the Maya civilisation.
Others believe the workmanship found on these skulls to be far too sophisticated for such ancient and ‘primitive’ peoples.
Several of the skulls display such a smoothness of finish and such an incredible degree of anatomical accuracy that many archaeologists have been left totally baffled.
A sprightly 89-year-old, Anna Mitchell-Hedges is the owner of probably the most beautiful of all the known crystal skulls in the world.
She is convinced her skull is at least as old as the ancient Mayan civilisation and has an extraordinary tale to tell about how it came into her possession back in the 1920s.
At that time she was a young woman of 17. Anna is the adopted daughter of explorer Frederick Mitchell-Hedges and as a young woman she accompanied her father on many of his overseas expeditions.
Mitchell-Hedges was a real Indiana Jones-type character. He was a member of the Maya Committee of the British Museum. His interest lay in uncovering the secrets buried with lost civilisations.
While her father was excavating the site of Lubaantun in British Honduras (now Belize) she came across the most magnificent and perfect crystal skull buried beneath an altar in the ruins of a Maya temple.
The crystal skull Anna found is life-size and remarkably accurate anatomically.
It even has a detachable jaw bone that fits neatly into the upper cranium, just like a real human skull. It is made of pure rock crystal, which is almost totally transparent.
Anna Mitchell-Hedges loaned her skull to Frank Dorland, an American crystal expert, who believed it dated back to a civilisation even more ancient than the Maya.
Dorland took the skull to one of the world’s leading computer companies, Hewlett Packard.
Various scientists in optical laboratories examined the crystal skull under intense magnification and amongst their incredible findings they were most surprised to discover the skull showed no evidence of any kind of tool markings whatsoever.
They were unable to determine either when or how it had been made, a fact which led one member of the team to conclude: ‘This skull should not even exist!’