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 Museum Explorer

Death in the Americas

Rock crystal skull

Height: 15.000 cm

AOA 1898-1

Rock crystal skull

From: probably European
Date: 19th century AD

This skull is a clever forgery. It was bought by the Museum around 100 years ago as an original Aztec relic. It was said to come from Mexico, brought to Europe by a Spanish collector.

However, curators became suspicious. The Department of Scientific Research at the British Museum tested the skull a few years ago, and now is sure that it is much more recent. The crystal used to make the skull probably comes from Brazil, but the techniques used to cut and polish it are definitely European. In fact, it was probably made in Germany in the 19th century.