Countdown To Indy: The Real Crystal Skulls

Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is finally released this week, and personally, I can't wait.

I'm trying to avoid any reviews or articles, as I've inadvertently stumbled upon some plot spoilers (damn!), but at the same time want to partake in the Indy excitement and read up as much as I can. So if reviews are plan a, imdb thankfully today provided me with a plan b by publishing this link to an article on the real life 'Crystal Skulls'.

Read on for a summation of the good bits...

The Indiana Jones movies have all had cool 'Maguffins'- items which serve to drive forward the plot. Raiders had the Ark of the Covenant, Temple had the Sankara Stones, and Last Crusade went for the mother of all maguffins, the Holy Grail. For the new Indy Movie, it looks like the item in question will be these titular Crystal Skulls.

The Rundown:

Generally assumed to by ancient artifacts of Aztec of Mayan origin, several Crystal Skulls have been discovered during excavations in South America. The most famous of these is the Mitchell-Hedges Skull (pictured above), discovered in 1926 in British Honduras. The skull is about the size of that of a human female, and is astoundingly anatomically correct. Very little is known about the skulls, although skulls did feature heavily in ancient Mayan imagery.

What's Cool About Them:

How the skulls were made seems to be the main source of intrigue. Crystal, when carved against the grain (as most of the skulls are) should instantly shatter, even when using the most sophisticated modern techniques. Several of the Skulls exhibit such craftsmanship that some researchers have said that they simply 'shouldn't exist'. Whereas some Skulls have been revealed to be fakes originating from the 18th & 19th century, some continue to defy explanation.

Anything Magical Going on?

The skulls are said to have 'magical powers', including healing properties. Can't find anything about them being cursed or anything, but employees of the British Museum reported that a Crystal Skull on display there was known to move around it's display case of it's own accord. Which is pretty cool. They're also reportedly quite useful for divination, and can be used in the same manner as one would use a crystal ball. Some loons believe the Skulls to contain information on the 'secrets of life and the universe', encoded into the skulls by an ancient race, possibly from Atlantis, possible from another planet, possibly 'the Gods'.

Oh, and the Mitchell-Hedges Skull is commonly known as 'The Skull of Doom'.


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