Who Made The Mayan crystal Skull?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

Wayne sedawie holding Crystal skull with Flourescent minerals in background                                     A Crystal Skull

 

Click here to see the Skulls available on GemRockAuctions

 

Who made the Mayan Crystal Quartz Skull?

 

I decided to investigate this mystery. So on my recent trip in Jan 2012 I visited the ancient relics of the Mayan empire and I decided to do some basic ground work. Chichen Itza, where the Mayan calendar was written was the epicentre of the Mayan empire thousands of years ago. To compare to other civilizations it would be how Rome was the epicentre of The Roman Empire or the Vatican the epicentre for Catholics.

 

My first concern was the gemmological aspects of where the head quarters of the Mayan Empire was founded in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. With 20 years experience in gemstones and opal mining, I have the understanding of gemmology and cutting expertise as I owned a cutting factory in Asia for 8 years.

 


Yucatan Peninsula


Yucatan Peninsula has been formed at the bottom end of Mexico and as this area was one of the last places to form on earth after being pushed up from the bottom of the sea millions of years ago. The whole area of which consisted thousands of square miles is Limestone based. Limstone rock is very soluble and easy to carve. This Limestone  displays sea life from minute shells to animals that lived in this lime before it was formed. But as the Limestone is so soluble large sinkholes are common and these are large 20-100 meters in size.

 

Cenote at Chichen Itza where chidren were drugged and made to jump in and drown as humad sacifice to their Gods

 


These sink holes are called Cenotes. We visited dozens of the Cenotes and all had same characteristics of soluble Limestone eroded from water as vast river systems run underground. Tropical rainstorms are very heavy flash flooding which constantly erodes Cenotes larger as aquifer. There are swamps but no river systems, as all water flows through thousands miles aquifers. I encountered no mineral or rock formations in the Peninsula, so all gemstone tools or rough items would have to be imported.

 


 

Exploration Findings


Whilst Exploring I found 6 Jade River rocks! I noted mineral stains in the Limestone Cenotes and have a special find which was 6 Jade rocks in a Mayan village. These rocks must have  been beside a wall for centuries.

Due to my understanding of gemmology I realized these were not natural occurring rocks for the region and would have to be from somewhere else. As there are no rivers on the Peninsula, they would have had to be bought in. My conclusion is that they were Jade that must have come from Guatemala.

What a special find to discover jade river rocks for pre-Spanish days when the Mayan Empire was strong!

 


 Mayan Navigation Skills



Mayans had no source of gemstones and had to import items such as jade, obsidian and  salt. The Mayan empire was also based near the sea but they did not have boats or ships but basic canoes so they could not cart volume  of materials in long distances. Many of their sites were established near river mouths. The Mayans rowed on the sea shores of Honduras, Guatemal, Belieze and the Yucatan peninsula.

The Maya traded both luxury items and objects designed for everyday use: feathers, gold, jade, amber and quartz; honey, animal pelts, manta, vegetable dyes, copal incense, herbal medicines, dried chilli peppers and household ceramics. They even transported heavy commodities such as mortars, pestles and bags of salt. As legal tender, they used cacao, jade and feathers sprinkled with gold dust

Some canoes had over a dozen rowers and were made from plant material but their greatest asset were wooden paddles so they could travel great distances. No wooden ship wrecks have  been found along salt route from Belize where salt was transported to Yucatan. There were drawings of large wooden ships discovered, however none have been found.

So there is also a mystery on how much volume was traded as these Mayan centres had large populations with many sites having 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants and salt was very important to them.

 


Mayan Religion


In Mythological times, the deities believed in death and rebirth, rites of passages and transformations. To study skulls I needed to know about religion and rituals of this ancient race. Many rituals were simply barbaric by our standards. Decapitation was common against enemies and also by volunteering inhabitants.

A carving I saw at the basket ball stadium was a  man kneeling and offering his head and acting as if it was a great honour to get decapitated. The carving scene displayed his head being cut off and blood flowing up as snakes which fertilised the ground. This was such a great honour as ancient Mayans did respect the Earth and knew they needed to feed nutrients back into mother earth.

I also visited a Cenote where children were drugged and pushed into a Cenote to drown.

Corn was the essence of survival and the maize god Tikal or Hunab’ ku’ was most revered. The cycle of maize was the cycle of life. They even had god for chocolate called Chokoa’j.

Their religion is extremely complicated with different parts of Mayan civilization respecting different Gods, nevertheless they were a very war like race.

It is obvious that astronomy was very important to their culture. The only records of skulls were actually human skulls and no reference to crystal skulls were mentioned in any of their religions.

Also interesting that there has been  no evidence of any kind that has been found about Mayan end of the world prophecies in any Mayan carving, temple or any such records.

It wasn’t till after Spanish Franciscan  monks arrived   and many scholars believed that a astrological conjunction with Saturn and Venus would be disastrous  and this event was  in 1524  made many people fear another Biblical flood.

Christian ideologies did clash with Mayan mythology as both have strong convictions about the end times on earth

 

 

Where to Find Quartz

 

To make a Crystal skull you need Quartz. Quartz is the second most common mineral on planet earth after feldspar. Quartz is made up of silicon-oxygen tetrahedral and there are many different varieties of Quartz which belongs to the trigonal crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six sided prism or terminated point. A Quartz geode would have been required to carve the skull.

 

Crystal quartz rough specimen that has been stress tested to expose fracture line.

Piezoelectricity properties of Quartz crystals were only discovered in 1880 and great interest was shown by scientists at the time. They developed an electrical potential when mechanical stress was applied. This was used to make the first Phonograph or gramophone.

Quartz Crystal was and is still used as a crystal oscillator, crystal wristwatches, to radio transmitters and receivers and today it's used in computers and mobile telephones.

A Quartz Crystal can be modeled as an electrical network with a low impedence (series) and a high impedence (parallel) resonance point spaced closely together. Mathematically (using the Laplace transform) the impedance of this network can be written as


:Z(s) = \left( {\frac{1}{s\cdot C_1]+s\cdot L_1+R_1} ight) ll \left( {\frac{1}{s\cdot C_0}} ight)
 
or,
 
Z(s) = \frac{s^2 + s\frac{R_1}{L_1} + \omega_s}^2}{(s\cdot C_0)[s^2 + s\frac{R_1}{L_1} + {\omega_p}^2]}
 
\Rightarrow \omega_s = \frac{1}{\sqrt{L_1 \cdot_1}}, \quad \omega_p = \sqrt{frac{C_1+C_0}{L_1 \cdot C_1 \cdot C_0}}=\omega_s
\sqrt{1+\frac{C_1}{C_0}} \approx \omega_s \left(1 + \frac{C_1}{2 C_0}ight) \quad (C_0 \gg C_1)

(Reference Wikipedia)

 

 

New age philosophies believe that Quartz Crystals are conductors of electromagnetic energy. This is a natural form of energy produced by electrons. These electrons can be effected by light, sound, contact with other crystals and positive thought.

 

But to find large Quartz geode to make 4 kilo crystal skull is rare. Maybe less than 0.01% of quartz crystal would be that size. I have dealt with many wholesalers and we have discussed how hard it is to find large quartz formations that are clear and not milky or with natural inclusions. If it is hard now to find you could imagine how rare it is to find quartz crystal to make a 4 kilo skull.

It was obvious the Yucatan peninsula could not have Quartz deposits. The Mayan skull was reported to have been found in Honduras in 1910 or Guatemala in 1912. Mayan civilizations did not have the tools to carve quartz. They imported and made excellent knives and flints from obsidian. But Quartz hardness is 7 on the moss scale and Jade has a hardness of 6.5

Obsidian is technically not a rock and doesn’t have a single hardness as it is a volcanic glass but saying that its hardness is above 5 would be fairly accurate.

Obsidian is ideal to chip out as a knife or an arrow and for carving into soft Limestone which is said to be between 3-4 on the moss scale. Obsidian could not carve quartz crystal. Mayans had no material to carve Quartz crystals and could not make a skull.


 

 

Ancient Mayan trade routes were mostly via rivers or close to Caribbean sea shore as they only had primitive canoes.

 Guatemela

 

As wholesaler over 20 years I have only seen small quartz specimens from this region.

A 1945 report by American Mineralogist stated also that only small specimens are found.

Quartz in Guatemala

"Guatemala quartz deposits are located in the Department of Baja Verapaz, north of Guatemala City and occur in an area of gneisses and schists. The occurrences are characteristically small gash veins in the schists. The veins contain fine-grained quartz at the border and well-formed crystals in the clay material which occupies the central part of the veins. The crystals in the few tons of radio grade quartz produced have been largely 200-500 grams in weight.”

My assumption is that it is extremely unlikely that a quartz crystal would come from this area .To cut 3.95 kilo skull the rough specimen would have to be 6-8 kilos in size depending on shape.

 

 

Honduras


I do have some small quartz specimens from Honduras but they are tiny and are weighted less than one carat, they were found with a layer of opal. Some quartz are found with Andradiute garnet matrix for El Mocho but these are also small in weight.

I have meet an Honduran opal miners and talked about Quartz but they also have never seen quartz in Honduras and believes that it's highly unlikely to find a large piece. Honduras geology in 1998 have found minimal deposits of quartz.

 


Belieze


Around 400,000 Mayans is believed to have lived in this area that supplied salt to Yucatan area. Belize has a vast assortment of minerals but none are in commercial quantities as its sub base is Limestone similar to Yucatan peninsula.

Belize had a large salt production and export facility for the Mayan civilization however no large quantities of quartz has been found. The Toledo Quartz mine produces Zinc, Lead, Silver, Barium and Quartz however the Quartz size is minimal.

I'm extremely doubtful that a Crystal skull was from Quartz Crystal mined in Belize. My assumption is that Quartz Crystal could NOT be formed naturally to make the Mayan Crystal skulls in areas controlled by ancient Mayan empire.

 

 

Mexico


Yucatan peninsula is now part of Mexico, the tip at the end! Mexico does have large Quartz deposits, the famous Naica mine of Chihuahua. Large scale mining commenced around 1900  and large Quartz were found in quantities, but today the mine is deep and a steamy hot 136 degrees Fahrenheit. But in 1900 I assume quantities of quartz crystals could have been found near the surface. Most Quartz deposits do have heads that you could find Quartz in rock crevices near the surface.

But in my experience Quartz formed under intense pressure in water rich minerals are not as stable as  crystal formed more slowly and structurally sound in areas such as Brazil. I'm very doubtful if Quartz from Mexico was made into a  skull. I recommend that you would need to test the skull if the structure matched Quartz from this area. In general quartz from Mexico is not stable as from Brazil. A study of quartz shows that Auartz toughness generally increases with smaller grain sizes and with more interlocking grains of fibres so clean quality Quartz is of paramount importance in crystal skull carving. Brazil quartz has the highest grade Crystal and is far superior to Mexican Quartz.

 

 

Brazil


Brazil is world famous for top quality Quartz crystal. Large production and large size Quartz are more common in this region than elsewhere in South America. But the Quartz mines are situated inland up the mountains and Mayan trade routes did not go this far south and could not be reached in small canoes.

The Yucatan area does have a barrier reef and this is important as Mayans could row in the sea as they were protected by the reef. I personally have seen the reef and it is only 100 meters off shore in some places  and this would have made it easy to row from Honduras, Belize to Yucatan but impossible to row in canoes outside of this area. So it is unlikely that they could travel to Brazil for Quartz.

 

 

Were Mayan Skulls Made From Crystals In a Meteorite?


Chicxulub Meteorite crater is one of the largest impact sites in the world and is over 180 kml in diameter. This meteorite landed in the sea but sprayed residue over a large area in the Northern Yucatan peninsula. In March 2010, 41 international experts from 33 countries concluded that the impact triggered the mass extinction of dinosaurs on Earth.

It is only recently that we have realised that some meteorites have crystals in them and are known as Pallasite. These contain Olivine crystals. The most recognized sites include:

 

Imilac  Atacama Chile

Gibeon Namibia Africa

Esquel Argentina

Fukang  in china

Jepra Indonesia in 2008

 

        

             Meteorite Impact that triggered mass                           Chicxulub Meteorite Impact Zone                     Chicxulub Meteorite Impact Zone

               extinction of dinosaurs on Earth                                      near Mayan civilisation



The Chicxulub meteorite is unique in that it contained quartz a s shocked quartz or glass tektite. Shocked Quartz is a form of Quartz that has microscopic structure  unique in its formation. Under incredible pressure the Quartz has crystalline structure that is deformed along planes in the crystal. These are called Planar deformation features or shock lamellae.

This shock Quartz however is very small in size and doubtful if any would be over a kilo in size, as the most ever found is only a few carats in size. Nearly all crystals found in meteorites are very small in size mostly only in millimetres. It is extremely unlikely that shocked quartz from meteorite made the Mayan skull.

 

 

British & European Connection To Crystal Skulls


Honduras and Belize were both British Electorates at the start of the century. Belize was a British colony in 17th centaury, long after the Mayans had vanished. before the British it was a Spanish colony. Honduras was also a Spanish colony before the British arrived. Guatemala was controlled by the Spanish for nearly 300 years. Spanish explorers had a reputation of mass blunder and were very ruthless in their quest for goods from Mesoamerican civilizations. So it is strange that they did not find or document any crystal skulls. On the other hand British explores had reliable ships and travelled extensively around South America and had trade with Brazil so its easy to obtain crystal Quartz of good size. 

The British explorer Mitchell Edges, reportedly found a Quartz skull in 1920 in Ancient Mayan town of Lubaantun which in Mayan is town of fallen ones. Where these British entrepreneurs? If they were, the skulls could not have been made in England as it would need master craftsman to cut and polish and England did not have any gem cutting industry.

 

 

Germany


At the time Idar Oberstein, in Germany was the gem cutting centre of the world and has a reputation over 500 years, and craftsmans could have cut a skull with their cutting methods. These craftsman didn’t just use drills, but used abrasive materials such as tin oxide to help cut the teeth and delicate work that was required to cut a skull. Tin oxide is basic abrasion but was available in different grades so would be relatively easy to get polish on a crystal skull. 

Reports of sanding for generations to make skulls are unrealistic, as common abrasives at the start of the century could easily polish delicate position of the skull such a teeth or jaw bone. With my experience in the gemstone industry I have seen Japanese whalers polishing quartz and opals which is also silica formed, with only sand and sand paper and making carvings in 1-2 month trip to Antarctica.

Abrasive materials were common in Germany at the time and craftsman could make rapid work using drilling, polishing and buffing methods. Basic work could be done by drilling and left in tumbler with different grade abrasions and in 1-2 months the finish on quartz is spectacular. I believe German technology could easily produce such a finish on a quartz skull. I owned a gem cutting factory in Asia for 8 years and are familiar with current and past trends.

At the start of the century, abrasions from tin oxide to walnut husks were used to give a brilliant finish to quartz and cerium oxides on damp pigs skin were also used to give a perfect smooth quality finish. This technique has been used for over 100 years and I have tried with perfect results.

 

 

                                   Idar Oberstein traditional cutting table                                                Men cutting gemstone the old fashion way

 

Crystal Was Axis Cut


Axis cutting has been mentioned by researchers into crystal skulls but in practise it is common knowledge that crystal can be cut on axis point. Researchers state that cutting against axis will shatter the crystal but this is not true and the craftsman can test the quartz before carving the skull. This is done by process called stress testing and has been used by gem cutters for centuries. The Quartz crystal in the rough is stress tested by placing in hot sun or near fire than cold water poured on to the quartz crystal. This process is repeated until the cutter is satisfied that the quartz is stable. Any unstable area will fracture or easily chipped off. Then the craftsman cutter will start work on the crystal skull knowing that his work will be final and permanent. From his experience he will know that internal fractures lines in the crystal are stable and he can work for or against the axis but takes note of structure lines.

Fractures in Crystal skulls - Nearly all skulls have fracture lines similar to cracks. These fractures were made during the natural formation process and sometimes you can see the light reflections from fracture to mystical mauve violet colours. Fractures are made when the magna silica cools and pressure is too great and a fracture line is formed. Quartz does have a tendency to fragment to Quartz flakes so it is important that high grade quartz is used.

These talented craftsmen  who specialise about particular gemstone do get the ‘feel’ on how lines or veins formed in the rock and which way to cut. I have seen cutters get new parcel gemstones and work the inferior or smaller items first to get the’ feel’ for this gemstone. Many can than inform on what depth or even what field a particular gemstone came from and what ways the lines were affected in the gemstone.

So when I read about unique cutting of skulls I understand that master craftsman has done this job of creating skull from piece of crystal say 50% larger than its finished weight. Many researchers are amazed to find that the Skull is anatomically correct. This is easy for a craftsman as they use basic timber apparatus to measure size against sample i.e. real human skull and is easy to get all points exact and correct.

Many researches state that cutters who specialise in gemstone carvings and all use Pointing machine or callipers. To make a replica of a human skull the carver just needs a sample of a real skill. Measuring devices were invented in the 15th century and simple plumb bobs and grids were used. Pointing machines cannot reduce or increase the replica size but are extremely accurate. French and English sculptures used pointer in late 1750s. To cut a skill exact to human proportions is well with craftsmen expertise.

 

Modern Day Pointing Calibrator


One opal cutter is so knowledgeable and talented that he can take a piece of rock and without viewing the opal inside he can estimate the size and weight of a stone before  it has been cut and polished. A computer today would have difficulty in doing this. Also master cutters read the stone they are working on.

I have seen many micro computer images of quartz with magnification displaying veins and line in crystal, but this is common especially in volcanic formed minerals to sedimentary rocks and minerals including quartz.

Oberstein cutters in the past could have been given a commission to make such carvings and today it is still a common practise and no records are kept even today as it's buyers confidentiality at stake which is still strong in the gemstone industry.  

 

 

Carbon Dating Crystal Skulls


Hewlett-Packard report in 1970 on the skull and one scientists statement that is famous is “This crystal skull should not even exist!”

Maybe this scientist should have contacted gemstones cutters for inside information as it is highly feasible that craftsman could carve this crystal skull at start of centenary. Many researchers state that Crystal skulls cannot be carbon dated. But in 2004 a German scientist Pro J Ericson published report in the Journal Of Archaeological Science.

This new technique to carbon date is similar to Obsidian, which is volcanic glass used extensively by Mayan tool makers.


Following Reference to Pro J Ericson.

“The technique relies on the absorption of water into a freshly cut surface of the mineral, forming a rim of hydrated quartz. The thickness of the rim reveals how long the surface has been exposed.

The technique can be used to date objects between 100 and one million years old and is accurate to within 35% of the object's age, the researchers said.

Although the researchers admitted the error margin was large compared with other dating techniques, they said in some circumstances the margin could be brought down to 20%.

In cases of forgeries, even a large margin of error would be sufficient to spot fakes, the researchers said.

Australian archaeologist Dr Alan Watchman from the Australian national university in Canberra was concerned with the large error margin.

"[A margin of] 35% is excessive and we wouldn't accept that. We look for 2-5%," he said.

For radiocarbon dating, which uses the ratio of different forms of carbon in an object, the error for a 5000 year old artefact was about 60 years, he said.

But he said carbon dating was limited in that it could only go back about 45,000 years.

"For Australia and North America that might be OK, but for other places, or if there is no carbon present, we need other dating methods," Watchman said.

But he said there were inherent problems with the quartz technique, which the authors acknowledged, including the effect of temperature and hydration history on the object being dated.

"Say an artefact has been sitting on the surface in a desert and it heats up to 50ºC during the day and drops to 0ºC at night. That sort of temperature fluctuation has an effect on the hydration of the quartz," Watchman said.

But if there was no other indication, then a date with 35% error was a good initial estimate, he said.

"It might be useful, for example, in a cave situation where temperature and water regime were constant. In that situation the error could come down to 5 or 10%."


Crystal Skulls Glow


Many researches make comment how crystal skulls have tendency to glow in the dark or glows in darkened room and when a person enters the room the skull will glow or brighten more. 

In the Gemstone world it is known that crystals can and do reflect light or bend it in different directions.

This is most common in faceted gemstones but skulls have many rounded curved surfaces that also interact together to bend or reflect light.

Even inclusions in a crystal can cause light reflections.

Crystal skulls will glow under different types of lighting, from fluorescent to spot lights and especially in morning or evening sun rays. 

Metaphysical people believe the crystal skulls emanate light for the sub consciousness. To hold a crystal skull and to absorb energies or to receive is known as Pyschometry and to receive message is form of divination known as Scrying.

 

 

Energy of Crystal Skulls


I have sold over 1,000 skulls during my gemstone career. I have had many people in my shop who display strong connection to crystal skulls. Several people have collapsed by just holding a skull. One lady passed out for 10 minuets when she just touched one of my skulls. Many people who visited my shop would close their eyes and run their hands over several skulls to choose one for themself. I have witnessed many displays of strong connection to my skulls. Buyers have informed me that they feel the vibrations of the crystal skull or feel negative towards other skulls.

Half my sales over 100 large skulls over 2 kilos were not to spiritual healers or those in the spiritual world, but to normal husbands and wives. I myself to do not feel any connection spiritually or feel the vibrations from my crystals, but I very much enjoy mother natures creations immensely  and have been surrounded by crystal and gemstones for over 20 years, but my energy levels have always been super high. My friends put this down to how I greatly enjoy my business dealing with crystals and receive positive energy.

Spiritual people have stated that I have surrounded myself with crystals and enjoy the positive vibrations always so that it is part of my life now and they say that is why my business have been successful.

 

Craftsman

Actually to make a skull is not complicated when a cutter understands the techniques, as craftsman does have trade secrets.

For example 10 years ago we made four  layer and seven layer jade ball carvings.

If you look at picture I bought a $10 old electric motor and with some old bicycle parts we made a simple carver and manufactured jade ball carvings just like these ones. Note plastic bag hiding apparatus.


   

 

Conclusion

At the start of the century Germany had regularly dealing with Brazilian Gemstones and could have sourced a large Quartz geode to make a crystal skull.

My Conclusion is that its highly probable that German gemstone craftsman cut and made crystal skulls under commission AT START OF THE CENTURY.

 

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