Ancient mysticism – or nineteenth-century fakery?

Have just found out about the crystal skull phemomenon, for the first time, after learning that it’s going to be the central plot in the new Indiana Jones movie.

Fascinating stuff – this has it all, including aliens, Atlantis links, weird pre-Columbian south American mojo, the duping of highly-paid experts and an unsolvable mystery: at least one of these creations apparently shouldn’t have been physically possible. So how was it made?

Here’s the story about Indy from The Telegraph that got me started on all this:

Spotlight on skulls with new Indiana Jones film

The fourth outing of Steven Spielberg’s fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones has generated renewed interest in the enigmatic crystal skulls at the centre of his latest adventure.

In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – global release date May 22 – Harrison Ford’s grizzled archaeologist tracks down several crystal skulls purportedly crafted in pre-Columbus South America.

According to lore, when placed together in their ancient temple, the skulls unlock vast knowledge and unlimited power. The plot draws on the mysterious provenance of numerous real crystal skulls held in private collections and museums around the world, including the British Museum, Paris’s Musée du Quai Branly and the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Originally, the skulls, which first began surfacing in the second half of the nineteenth century, were thought to be Olmec, Maya or Aztec masterpieces dating back to before the Spanish conquest of the New World. But in recent decades, research has revealed them to have been crafted by tools too sophisticated to have existed in pre-Columbian South America.

The new film has prompted historians and anthropologists to revisit theories about the skulls and question why they continue to captivate and enthrall. Read on here…

Some crystal skull links: