The crystal skull in the British Museum in London, one ofonly 13 in the world, has been shown to be a fake.
Steve Connor writes in the Independent that detailedanalysis of the skull's surface has revealed that it was cutand polished with the kind of rotating wheel that was foundin jewelers in 19th-century Europe.
Historians and scientists now believe that the skull was cutfrom a piece of Brazilian rock crystal by a jeweler inEurope, and then sold as an Aztec object.
Doubts about the authenticity of the skull first surfacedmore a decade ago, and when scientists began to look at theskull?s surface under an electron microscope, the doubtsproved to be true. Tiny scratch marks show it was createdwith a jeweler?s wheel?and the Aztecs hadn?t discovered thewheel.
Jane Walsh of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington eventhinks she knows who created it: Eugene Boban, a19th-century collector of pre-Columbian artifacts who soldat least two other crystal skulls as ancient items. Bobanwas a French citizen who spent more two decades living inMexico.
Walsh has found documents that reveal it was Boban who soldthe skull to Tiffany?s in 1897. They in turn sold it to theBritish Museum. Boban earlier tried to sell it to theSmithsonian. He also sold another crystal skull to acollector who donated it to the Mus
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