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Aztec Pottery Copal Burner (skulls)

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Aztec Pottery Copal Burner (skulls)

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Quick Overview

Copal incense an aromatic tree resin was known to the Aztecs as food for the gods. The sacred "copalli" (in the original Nahuatl language) was considered "blood" of trees and was burned atop the Aztec pyramids as an offering to the deities.

Copal incense also served as an integral part of ceremonies designed to bring good harvests. The ceremonies consisted of dripping sacrificial blood on copal that is then used to cense seed maize before planting. Divination ceremonies also used copal incense. Patterns in the smoke were interpreted by a shaman who cast fourteen grains of corn through the smoke onto a cloth. The shaman would then interpret meaning based on the patterns the corn produced as it was cast through the smoke and where the corn grains fall.

The proper method to burn copal is to place sand in a purified vessel. Burning coals are then placed atop the sand and the appropriate deities are politely "invited" to partake in the feast. Only then can copal be placed on the burning coals.

Aztec-Maya Crystal Skulls, a Real Archaeology Mystery

One of the most fascinating subjects of 21th Century archaeology concerns thirteen crystal skulls of apparently ancient source that were found in parts of Mexico, Central America and South America in the 1900's.

Some of the skulls are believed to be between 5,000 and 36,000 years old. These skulls, found near the ancient ruins of Mayan and Aztec civilizations (with some evidence linking the skulls with past civilization in Peru) apparently hold a profound mystery. Mayan pottery and Mayan masks as well as Aztec pottery are replete with skulls. Indeed human skulls are one of the most pictured objects dealing with religious rites of pre-Columbian cultures. But the crystal skulls are different. They seem to defy logic. Everything that is known about lapidary work indicates that the skulls should have been shattered fractured or fallen apart when carved.

Many of the indigenous people speak of their remarkable magical and healing properties. Legend also has it that a great power emanates from the group when all are joined side by side and that in effect the skulls continuously seek to be re-united.

The skull reunion legend has some rather peculiar bits of history behind it. Supposedly after an inspection of his bank deposit box, one German owner suddenly found himself the owner of two skulls. It was latter determined that the original owner of the unknown skull had recently died in a tragic accident. How the second skull ever got to the German bank deposit box is still unknown. Even more peculiar was the bank deposit box records that showed no activity or access to the box for over a year before the death of the owner of the “transported” skull.

Another story goes that a “singing” noise can be faintly heard when one skull comes into proximity of another skull. Indeed, this remarkable feature was how a “fake” was discovered. When an owner lent his skull to a museum for public exhibition in the 1950’s, it supposedly began “singing” when it came into contact with two other skulls that had also been lent for exhibition. Supposedly upon the attempted return of the skull to its owner, he noticed that it would no longer sing when placed next to the other two skulls. An exam latter revealed that in effect, the skull had been switched by a museum employee who had replaced the original with a fake copy. Fortunately, the authorities were able to find the original and the owner was satisfied of its authenticity when it once again began to “sing” when it was in the proximity of other skulls.

The Mitchell-Hedges family of Canada loaned their skull to Hewlett-Packard Laboratories for extensive study. The HP examinations yielded some startling results.

Researchers found that the skull had been carved against the natural axis of the crystal. Modern crystal sculptors always take into account the axis, or orientation of the crystal's molecular symmetry, because if they carve "against the grain," the piece is bound to shatter -- even with the use of lasers and other high-tech cutting methods.

To compound the strangeness, HP could find no microscopic scratches on the crystal which would indicate it had been carved with metal instruments. Their best hypothesis for the skull's construction is that it was roughly hewn out with diamonds, and then the detail work was meticulously done with a gentle solution of silicon sand and water. Best estimates for the exhausting job, assuming it could possibly be done in this way, would have required about 300 years of man-hours to complete.

Under these circumstances, experts believe that successfully crafting a shape as complex as the Mitchell-Hedges skull is impossible; as one HP researcher is said to have remarked, "The damned thing simply shouldn't be."

Product Description

Unique piece, only 1 available

Hand made in Mexico by decendants of the Aztec Expire of fired clay and properly purified.

5.5" tall x 6.5" diameter, weight = 4 lbs.

This is a hand made pottery object, slight imperfections may exist

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