How were the crystal skulls made?
Crystal skulls have gained a respectable place in modern culture and a particular fascination that has reached every corner of the world. Scientists have proven that these real-life size replicas of human skulls carved in quartz crystal date from the 19th century and they do not belong to a Mesoamerican culture of pre-Colombian origins. Still, many people prefer to believe that these artifacts hold a paranormal charge and possess supernatural powers.
The origins of the crystal skulls
In the 19th century, Europe and North America were flooded with supernatural legends and mystic stories of the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica. Together with these tales came many artifacts of different archaeological importance or authenticity. One of the most famous relics to come from Central America is the crystal skull.
Archaeology in the 1860s did not possess all the scientific tools of today. Therefore, many people, including scientists could not determine the genuineness of a perfectly shaped skull hand carved from quartz crystal. Very soon, people started fabricating legends regarding the heads and their supernatural powers or curing benefits. Many artifact enthusiasts collected them and even paid significant prices to South American explorers in exchange for a crystal skull or any information regarding their origin.
Why were crystal skulls made?
The reason for crystal skull fabrication is still a mystery. However, many scientists believe that they were initially the work of novelty sellers who saw an opportunity to monetize on the primary interest that Europeans had for Mesoamerican culture in the 19th century. Some researchers believe that the crystal skulls originate from Catholic priests in Mexico who wanted to combine a bit of local culture with the Christian religion. Their intention to popularize the Catholic beliefs expanded into a worldwide trade of artifacts, superstitions and conspiracy theories.
The famous crystal skull of the British Museum
The British Museum in London acquired a crystal skull in 1897 from New York's famous jewelry company Tiffany's. Back then, the theory of the pre-Colombian origin of the crystal skulls was still undisputed. The following decades, however, have proven that these artifacts were produced in Europe long after the Mesoamerican civilization had been destroyed.
The curators of the British Museum decided to keep the skull as an artistic representation, despite its initial false claim of authenticity. Through binocular microscopic research, the scientists managed to discover how the crystal skulls were made. They concluded that the carving technique and tools were native to Western Europe and that the quartz was manufactured as early as 1860.
What are the special powers of crystal skulls?
It 's hard to believe that crystal skulls have any special powers. Nevertheless, many people like to attribute unusual properties to the quartz artifacts. Some of them talk of cancer cures, time travel, prophecies of future events and even the ability to open portals to other worlds. So far, none of these skills have been proven, and scientists doubt that crystal skulls will ever have a higher purpose than to decorate book shelves.