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The Myths of the Crystal Skull

The blockbuster movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that was released last week in theatres has stirred up some attention to Belize and the famous Crystal Skull from Lubantuun. Now you can find information on the Crystal Skull and Belize on the internet, television and in countless magazines.

Belize has been trying to acquire the famous Crystal Skull and have it brought here in the country but hasn’t succeeded as yet. On Tuesday, May 20, News Five aired a documentary by Dr. Jaime Awe who explained a bit of the mystery and controversy of the Crystal Skull.

It’s one of the greatest and most bedeviling mysteries of Belizean archaeology but more than that, the skull is one of the most visually stunning objects known to mankind. It’s all these things and the subject of an ongoing dispute in archaeological circles: is it for real, or is it a hoax? It’s an explosive question that Dr. Awe gave his opinions on.

The Myths of the Crystal Skull found in Lubantuun - a maya ruin in Belize

“After the Jade Head, I think that the Crystal Skull is very likely the second most famous, or perhaps the most infamous artifact,” commented Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of Archaeology. “Infamous mostly because of this man, Mitchell Hedges, a British explorer and adventurer who claims he found it here at Lubantuun in 1927.”

The Crystal Skull is often referred to as the “Skull of Doom”; the skull was made from a single, unusually large block of clear quartz crystal, and measured 5 inches high, 7 inches long, and 5 inches wide, weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces. It closely corresponds in size to a small human cranium, with near perfect detail, even to rendering the skull without the globular prominence or superciliary ridges, which are characteristics of a female.

As the story goes … One day in 1927, English adventurer, traveler, and writer, F.A. “Mike” Mitchell-Hedges, who had a talent for telling colorful stories, was clearing debris from atop a ruined temple at the ancient Mayan city of Lubantuun, located in British Honduras, now Belize. His seventeen-year old daughter Anna, who had accompanied him, suddenly saw something shimmering in the dust below. Anna found an exquisitely carved and polished skull made of rock crystal, with the jaw piece missing. Three months later, she located the jaw in an excavation about 25 feet from the first site.

The Myths of the Crystal Skull found in the Belize Maya Ruin Lubantuun by F.A. Mike Mitchell-Hedges & Anna Mitchell-Hedges

There are many speculations that Hedges didn’t actually find the crystal skull since he didn’t publish anything about the Crystal Skull until he had bought the Crystal skull in an auction for £400 ($782US). So why would he make up the story? Well, according to Dr. Awe maybe Hedges was trying legitimize the object.

Indeed there are several, but those skulls look nothing like this one which experts say was never touched with metal implements. Awe says that while Mitchell’s story may be bogus, the Crystal Skull is not. The Belize’s Department of Archaeology will keep asking for the return of the Crystal Skull to its original place where Hedges claims is its home, Belize because if they claim that it was found here it should return here. Anna Mitchell-Hedges passed away on April 11, 2007 at age of 100 and the crystal skull has been put into the custody of Bill Homann.

The Myths of the Crystal Skull found in Lubantuun - a maya ruin in Belize

Bill Homann - inherited the crystal skull from Anna Mitchell-Hedges

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