When Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hits theaters next month, viewers will marvel at the crystal skulls sought by the celluloid archeologist. The skulls are based on similar artifacts that appear in a number of world-renown collections, including the Smithsonian and the British Museum, sometimes attributed to pre-Columbian, Aztec, Toltec, Mixtec, or occasionally Maya origin. Unfortunately, according to Jane MacLaren Walsh writing for Archeology magazine, the skulls are all fakes.
Nearly all the crystal skulls are 19th-century fakes, according to MacLaren Walsh, including one that “is said to emit blue lights from its eyes, and has reputedly crashed computer hard drives.” As disappointing as the truth may be, MacLaren Walsh probably knows best. The crystal skull owned by the Smithsonian is currently sitting in a locked cabinet in her office.