The excitement of the newest Indiana Jones movie prompted Ellen James of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to ask the scientists in the Section of Minerals if they had a crystal skull in the collection. The answer was yes. It’s not one of the rare, mystical, pre-Columbian skulls that Dr. Jones is after in the movie, but it’s still pretty cool.
The skull wasn’t the easiest thing to photograph. I quickly realized that the light source had to be underneath the skull. I asked the scientists to cut a hole in a black piece of paper and put the skull over a light source. As a result, you can see the fissures and faults in the 14-pound quartz crystal.