The mystery behind the ancient Tibetan Carved Skull


There are some truly fascinating things on our planet. The Tibetan Carved Skull is one of those fascinating items with a mind-boggling story that offers insight into ancient cultures and traditions hundreds of years ago. In addition to several symbols which are believed to depict ancient Deities, a mysterious ancient script is engraved onto the skull.

The mysterious skull was discovered by chance in an antique shop in Vienna Austria. After being analyzed and studied by several experts and organizations, the skull has created a fascinating debate as nobody seemed to have heard of a skull like this one.

It is known that skull caps are widely known to be carved in Tibet, Nepal and India, however, complete human skull engravings are not so widely practiced.

The only person that seems to know more about it is a Tibetan Khenpo –Monk professor— who states that similar skulls were carved in ancient times in order to take ‘curse’ off of a family, or to guide the soul of a mislead human onto the right path.

Apparently, further information regarding the skull and such practices are very limited.

The fascinating skull was sold at an auction house by a man who claims to have obtained it from one of his ancestors who was a doctor in Vienna, Austria.

The doctor –which travel abroad— is said to have practiced medicine at a Buddhist monastery where he received the skull as a reward for his service.

From what experts have been able to distinguish there are TWEO dancing skeletons depicted on the forehead which are believed to symbolize Dharma protectors, Buddha’s teaching guardians.

In addition to the dancing skeletons, the mystery skull features a bird-like creature on the side which is believed to represent Garuda, protector and He who conquers Nagas –aka demons— that dare to challenge.

According to experts, the left side of the enigmatic skull depicts Vajra Pani, a wrathful loving protector. The top of the skull has a carved Double Vajra Cross which represents the Buddha Family.

The intricate skull also has a symbol of four goat-heads emerging from a three-step platform on the left side of it.

In addition to the different depictions on the skull, there are also carvings in an ancient writing system believed to be called “lant’sa.”

However, according to the letters on the Jaw are most likely Devanagari script which read: Om, Ma, Sa, Ma, Ta, Sa, Om, Da, Ma, Ta.

If you have more information about this strange skull please let us know!

Here are some images:

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Source and reference

Image Credit: Klemens

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  1. Yes, the script is Devanagri. Devanagri is used for writing Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi and some other languages too. It is one of the oldest scripts known to man. BUt people from other places may have different names for the same devanagri script. Like u said “lant’sa”. That may be another name for Devanagri from another place .

  2. Hello. This is excellent! Thanks for sharing. I can tell you what I have interpreted based on my knowledge of Sanatana Dharma.
    The two skeletons with swords in their arms must be a depiction of Jaya and Vijaya, The guardians to the entrance of Lord Narayana’s abode (The cosmic spirit). The man-eagle creature is Lord Garuda, Lord Narayana’s vehicle/servant. On the back of the skull, beside the depiction of Garuda, I spot a Shiva linga with Nagendra, the cobra on Lord Shiva’s neck. On one side of the skull there is a depiction of Lord Shiva wearing a garland of skulls while dancing. And it looks like he’s holding a spiky Shanka(conch/seashell) in his hand. On the other side is a depiction of female goddess, Shakti in one of her forms with a trident in one of her hands and a head in the other? Not so sure about what she’s holding but, Shiva and Shakti always co-exist as they represent the masculine and feminine nature of the universe. So they are always depicted together. The center of the skull,on top is where the spirit leaves the body from and the yin-yang like diagram with three division could be representing three higher dimensions referring to Brahma Loka, Vaikuntha and Shiva Loka. A trident also is often used to represent the three higher dimensions, 4 of them here could represent the four corners of life,that is, Kama-Artha-Dharma-Moksha. The 4 vedas could be depicted as 4 dogs or goats here.I spot the Om symbol in a few places including the center of fore head . The text, not quite clear but makes letters like, Om, Ma, Sa, Da, Ya.

  3. Hi,
    as karthik said two dolls are jaya-vijaya one has kundalini chakras starting from neck to lower stomach.
    one another thing is Buddhism is very different from Hindu dharma as skull clearly contain lord Shiva etc. lord shiva and goddesse dies not include in Buddha dharma.

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