The Crystal Skulls

Article excerpt

HELLO!

I'm Daniel, the Editor of JUNIOR SKEPTIC. I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite mysteries from when I was growing up: the crystal skulls!

Beautiful and mysterious-even, some would say, cursed-these glittering quartz crystal objects are back in the spotlight thanks to the film INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

What are they? Do they really come from the ancient Maya or Aztec cultures-or even, as legend has it, from Atlantis or outer space? Do they truly hold the power to heal, impart wisdom, or perhaps to kill?

LET'S FIND OUT!

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AN ERA OF FAKES

Our story begins not long after the end of the American Civil War, around the time that outlaws like Jesse James and Billy the Kid were terrorizing the Wild West.

The science of archaeology was still wild and primitive. In Mexico and the tropical countries further south, archaeologists, adventurers, and looters were hard to tell apart: all were scrambling to dig up treasures of the lost Maya and Aztec civilizations to sell to museums and wealthy collectors in bustling cities like New York, London, and Paris.

With buyers willing to spend big bucks to get their hands on ancient objects, there was a lot of incentive for untrained explorers to find stuff fast. …