Agriculture
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Making the most of a meal
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders
Tree Frogs
Animals
New Monkey Business
Vent Worms Like It Hot
Awake at Night
Behavior
Bringing fish back up to size
Math Naturals
A Global Warming Flap
Birds
Flamingos
Chicken
Penguins
Chemistry and Materials
Earth from the inside out
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
When frog gender flips
Computers
A Light Delay
Galaxies far, far, far away
Games with a Purpose
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaurs Grow Up
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Dinosaur Dig
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Warmest Year on Record
Springing forward
Arctic Algae Show Climate Change
Environment
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
When Fungi and Algae Marry
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Finding the Past
Oldest Writing in the New World
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Fish
Bull Sharks
Freshwater Fish
Skates
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Human Body
A New Touch
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Surviving Olympic Heat
Invertebrates
Dust Mites
Tarantula
Corals
Mammals
Wolves
Kangaroos
Sea Lions
Parents
Children and Media
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Gaining a Swift Lift
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Plants
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Underwater Jungles
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Asp
Rattlesnakes
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
A Moon's Icy Spray
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Technology and Engineering
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
A Satellite of Your Own
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Where rivers run uphill
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Where rivers run uphill
Watering the Air
Add your Article

Fakes in the museum

Indiana Jones might have saved himself a whole lot of trouble in his new movie if only he had known the crystal skulls he traveled so far to find were probably fakes. Crystal skulls, carved from a see-through mineral called quartz, have been thought by some scholars to be relics of the Aztecs or other peoples living in Central America about 500 years ago, between the 14th and 16th centuries. The stuff of legends, the skulls’ otherworldly appearance has even led some to believe that they have healing properties and came not from Aztecs but from a mysterious civilization that disappeared from the Earth long ago. Some even suggest the skulls, which Europeans began collecting in the mid-1800s, came from another planet entirely. It turns out the skulls’ origins are probably much more humble. Museum historians and archaeologists have long suspected that crystal skulls, especially large ones, may be modern-day forgeries and not the objects of a bygone civilization. Most of the life-sized crystal skulls found in museums have no documents recording where, when or how they were dug up, or who originally found them. The large size of the skulls also stands out from the much smaller skull carvings more commonly found in Aztec dig sites. These observations long raised many peoples' suspicions about the skulls. Are they really as old as their collectors say they are? To find out, a team of archaeologists recently analyzed two life-sized crystal skulls, one housed in the British Museum in London, and the other at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. By closely examining the surface of the skulls, the researchers determined what kinds of tools were used to make the skulls. For comparison, they also examined the surfaces of several beads and a drinking cup collected from archaeological digs at Central American spots known to be between 1,000 and 500 years old. To get a close-up look at the surface of each object, the researchers used a tool called a scanning electron microscope. This high-magnification tool sends a beam of electrons through an object to form an image. To work properly, the object scanned needs to be coated with a very thin layer of gold, which helps conduct the electron beam through the sample. Rather than coat the museum specimens with gold, the team pressed a type of wax onto the surface of each specimen to make a precise mold. Viewing this wax mold with the powerful magnification provided by a scanning electron microscope gave the researchers a very detailed view. They were able to look carefully at the fine markings left behind by the tools used to make the skulls, as well as the beads and cup. Under magnification, the cup and beads have the kinds of markings that would come from wood and stone tools. They were shallow and irregular, as you might expect from a piece carved by hand. The skulls, however, had more uniform surface patterns. The researchers say the pattern found on one of the skulls is the same kind of pattern produced by a more modern tool — a mechanical wheel like those used by jewelry-makers today. This suggests the large skulls were carved with modern equipment that would not have been available to the people living long ago, says Jane Walsh, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Further analysis of the quartz in the other skull suggested the rock it was made from came from Madagascar, Europe or Brazil — all very far from the Aztec empire, and not at all connected to the empire by any trade network. Taken together, these pieces of evidence support the idea that the life-sized crystal skulls are modern-day phonies. What about the many smaller crystal skulls housed in other museums around the world? Walsh says they're probably fakes, too. But archaeologist Michael E. Smith at Arizona State University thinks otherwise. While he agrees the large skulls are probably fakes, "some small crystal skulls may indeed be legitimate Aztec objects," he says.

Fakes in the museum
Fakes in the museum








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™