Wednesday, July 09, 2008

famous crystal skulls are fakes

Less than three months after the Quai Branly Museum in Paris discovered that a crystal skull once proclaimed as a mystical Aztec masterpiece was a fake, it is now the turn of the British Museum and the Smithsonian Institution to find they were victims of skull-duggery.
I didn't know about the Paris thing, but it doesn't surprise me. More and more evidence has been pointing toward the skulls being "fake" as in, not of ancient manufacture.
What does that mean for the whole 12+1 skull reunion that is supposed to stop the 2012 end of the world scenario?
Well, constant readers know I have major problems with the whole 2012 thing. So I'm not at all surprised that something that should uphold it actually helps to shoot it down. You'd think, as an author who writes extensively about the Mayan and Aztec calendars that I would revel in the attention those subjects are getting because of 2012. It's a mixed blessing, actually, as I constantly have to defend myself for not "believing" in 2012 (much the same way I have to explain to Christians why I don't "believe" in Jesus).
Legend-lovers had a bad day on April 18 when the Quai Branly said it had found grooves and perforations in its 11-centimetre (4.4-inch) -high quartz skull revealing the use of "jewellery burrs and other modern tools."
.... Seeking the verdict of science, researchers from those two museums examined the skulls with electron microscopes, looking at tiny scratches and marks left by the carving implements.
These were then compared with the surfaces of a crystal goblet, rock crystal beads and dozens of greenstone jewels known to be of genuine Aztec or Mixtec origin.
The study appears in the Journal of Archaeological Science, published by the Elsevier group.
The skull in the British Museum, purchased in 1897, is made of transparent rock crystal and is 15 centimetres (six inches) high. The Smithsonian skull, acquired by the museum in 1992, is of white quartz and measures 25.5 cms (10 inches) in height.
None of the articles I've found mention the date the article was published in the JAS, and it's not on PubMed because it's not medical news. I will keep looking, and also try to find the April 18th source. Anyone who has links, please let me know (in a comment is fine)
(screenshot; photo source=article source)
12 17 Tzec 3 Ix

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