For several years the general public has had an uncanny fascination with the Maya Crystal Skulls. They are at one and the same time cold, smooth and frightening, and became a source of myths and ghost stories; in particular since the last adventure of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Yet how could the Maya civilisation possibly have achieved such a finely polished surface finish?
The general conclusion now is that they probably did not. According to the most recent geographic and timescale information the crystal skulls were not a product of the Maya civilisation. Surface examination found traces of polishing agents that were first used in the 19th Century. Microscopic surface examination by scientists in 2008 revealed a matrix of polishing traces so regular, that they could not have been hand-generated. Rather, the microscopic traces were left by rotating metal tools.
Now let’s fast forward from the past to the present: present-day suppliers of grinding and polishing agents focus on materials combining speed with precision. This year’s International Hardware Fair Cologne will be the launch platform for a new generation of polishing discs. The substrate is Jute – a natural material; the discs combine aggressive action with good abrasive characteristics and long service life. This year, specialist surface treatment exhibitors at Cologne include Pferd-Rüggeberg, Tyrolit, Ucer, Rhodius-Schleifwerkzeuge, Rottluff and Klingspor.