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  • Crystal Skull at the British Museum is Fake
    January 9, 2005 LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.

    This picture released by the British Museum in London shows a crystal skull which is displayed in the museum's Wellcome Trust Gallery. Photo by /AFP/Getty Images.

    An analysis of the crystal skull at the British Museum reveals that it is a fake. Scientists and historians believe the skull was cut from a piece of Brazilian rock crystal by a lapidary in Germany, and later sold to collectors as a relic from the ancient Aztec civilization of Mexico. Some people believe it is one of the 13 crystal skulls that will foretell the destiny of humankind when put together in the same place. Others think it has mystical powers. The skull has acquired a large cult following from New Age devotees. The tests confirm that it is not a genuine Aztec object.

    Professor Ian Freestone of the University of Wales at Cardiff and a former head of scientific research at the British Museum in London said, "We are not at all sure that there is a rock source in Mexico that would produce a rock crystal of this size. There is strong circumstantial evidence that it comes from Brazil. When you look at known, genuine Aztec rock crystals, they have a much gentler polish. This has the harsh, polished look you get with modern equipment. The evidence coming together suggests that it was late. To me the case is overwhelmingly against it being of earlier, Aztec origin."