Perhaps the most famous and enigmatic skull of the ancient crystal skulls said to be 3,600 years old was on public display in Edinburgh yesterday. The one-day viewing of the skull was organised by the history and mysteries conference, which took place at the Hub on the Royal Mile.
The skull is said to be a work of ancient South American civilization, it is named after the English adventurer and author FA Mitchell- Hedges, and has inspired the latest Indiana Jones films “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
Controversy surrounds the skull and opinions are divided whether the skull is 3,600 years old or if it is a fake. Bill Homan the current owner of the crystal skull was one of the speakers at the event; he cared for the adopted daughter of Mitchell- Hedges in the last 8 years of her life.
Ana Mitchell-Hedges had claimed to have found the skull in 1924, when she would have been about 17 years old. She said to have found it buried under an altar inside a temple in Lubanntun, Belize, however others believe that her father bought it in the 1940’s from an antique dealer or at an auction.
Mitchell- Hedges first mentioned the skull in his 1954 autobiography, Danger My Ally, he did not specify where or by whom it was found. He wrote, “ It was at least 3,600 years old and according to legend was used by the high priest of the Maya when performing esoteric rites”.
The British museum in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC have similar skulls on display. However earlier this year research published in the Journal of Archaeological science claimed these two skulls were fakes and were likely to have been made in the 1950’s.