Indiana Jones & the Quest for the Truth behind the Crystal Skulls
June 13, 2008 12:10 PM   Subscribe

We've heard about the crystal skulls recently, thanks of course to the latest movie in the Indiana Jones franchise. As posted previously on MeFi, are they pre-Columbian, modern European, or from another world? Well, you don't have to take somebody else's word about them, when you can also check with folks who've handled them personally! The British Museum staff are constantly engaged in their own research projects, not least of which is a detailed extensive investigation into the two large skulls from their own collection and the Smithsonian.
posted by Misciel (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't matter how many times these skulls are written off as a hoax - people want to believe. This, of course, is why crop circle stories continue to surface. Infuriating, really.
posted by bradth27 at 12:28 PM on June 13, 2008

Do the real skulls suck as much as the movie? Because I don't know if I could handle that.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:42 PM on June 13, 2008

Not surprisingly, the real ones are *better* or at least far more attractive. (They don't have the head-squished alien look!)
posted by Misciel at 12:47 PM on June 13, 2008

"are they pre-Columbian"
That's it.
Nothing against you, but I get tired of seeing this posed as a question.
posted by 2sheets at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2008

Do the real skulls suck as much as the movie? Because I don't know if I could handle that.

Imagine a skull kind of like a real one, except, you know, you can see through it and all. Which makes things like Pepsi and skulls awesome, when you can see through them...
posted by bradth27 at 1:08 PM on June 13, 2008

Here's a fairly lame story about the time I got lost in the jungle looking for a crystal skull.
posted by muckster at 1:14 PM on June 13, 2008

posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on June 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

(also it is a Skull of Love.)
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on June 13, 2008

A crystal skull would make an awesome hood ornament. Especially if it was lit from beneath...

"It's not tacky. It's mystical and shit."

*tries to figure out how to make this happen on an old Saturn*
posted by quin at 1:59 PM on June 13, 2008

This passage caught my eye:

Moulds were also made of these tool marks using special silicone dental ‘wax’ and these were examined at high magnification in a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Some time back I had a conversation with a fingerprint examiner from Texas named Jimmy Chilcutt regarding sweat pores and whether casting compounds could capture that level of detail. Not only could this dental compound capture detail as fine as human sweat pores, but another material could too; Silly Putty! Indeed, I obtained some Silly Putty and lo and behold, it really works. I used a 14x loupe to see these small features. Evidently Silly Putty has a legitimate by latent fingerprint examiners to capture fingerprints on certain irregular surfaces.

I've always been fascinated by the use of forensic techniques to authenticate or test works of art and museum exhibits. I debated creating a post on this, but never did, and I'm glad to see that Misciel did.
posted by Tube at 12:22 AM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

A recent Archaeology Magazine article on this topic.
posted by gudrun at 9:05 AM on June 15, 2008

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