digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Golden Idol
Fictional "Golden Idol" (Ancient Chachapoyan goddess of fertility) from the 1981 feature film Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Plot element from Indiana Jones franchise
First appearance Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Created by Steven Spielberg & George Lucas
Genre Adventure
In-story information
Type Fictional idol
Element of stories featuring Indiana Jones

The Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, also known as Golden Idol, is a fictitious artifact that appeared in the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark, a 1981 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. Its likeness was made famous by the popularity of the film. It is also the first relic that audiences see the protagonist of the film franchise acquire, establishing that hero as a treasure hunter.

In the film[edit]

In the film Raiders of the Lost Ark the idol is portrayed as resting in an ancient, abandoned temple in South America. The specific location is not given in the film, other than a subtitle that reads "South America, 1936". The tribe of "Hovitos" natives is fictional. The idol is located on a booby trapped pedestal, and its weight, approximately 3 pounds(1.36078 kilograms) of gold, precisely counterbalances the trigger for the temple to partially collapse and release falling walls, shooting darts, and a huge rolling boulder which would seal the temple entrance, trapping intruders within.

Fictional history[edit]

Based on the film and Indiana Jones comic books, the idol belonged to the Chachapoyan tribe in Peru, South America. It was sought in 1936, in the Peruvian Amazon jungle, by archaeologist/treasure hunter Indiana Jones. Jones had heard of the idol when a score of golden Chachapoyan figurines began to appear on the antiquities market. Jones and Marcus Brody, curator of the National Museum, believed that hitherto undiscovered Chachapoyan temples had been located and were being plundered. Evidence pointed to one of Jones's competitors, a Princeton archaeologist named Forrestal (another fictional character), who had embarked on an expedition to Peru a year earlier and never returned. With help from the journal of a 19th-century explorer and contacts in South America, Jones follows in Forrestal's footsteps, determined to acquire the real prize: a golden representation of the Chachapoyan goddess of fertility and childbirth, said to be secreted in the heart of the Temple of Warriors. While penetrating the Temple of Warriors, Jones finds Forrestal's remains impaled on the wooden spikes of a booby trap.[1]

The original Aztec birthing figure from Dumbarton Oaks. Recent microscopic analysis of the incisions and drill holes has determined that they were most probably made by modern tools.

The golden idol was placed upon an ancient Chachapoyan altar. It was the exact weight to hold an ancient self-destruct mechanism in place.[1] Jones knows of the booby trap and attempts to replace the idol with a bag of sand. His attempt fails when he incorrectly estimates the weight of the idol. After escaping the many traps set by the Chachapoyans including a giant boulder, he finds rival archaeologist Rene Belloq waiting outside with a group of Hovitos, the local natives. Surrounded and outnumbered, Jones is forced to give up the artifact to Belloq. Jones escapes from Belloq and the Hovitos after a jungle pursuit, flying away on a waiting seaplane.

As related in the Indiana Jones comics, years later, Indy regains the idol from a black market antiquities dealer located in Marrakesh, Morocco. However, also on the trail for the idol is Xomec, a descendant of the Chachapoyans, and Ilsa Toht, sister of Gestapo agent Arnold Toht. The two want to use the idol to unite Amazonian tribes and disrupt wartime rubber production in South America, as well as lure Jones to his death.[1]

Historical Basis[edit]

The movie prop idol was based on an actual greenstone carving in the pre-Columbian collection at Dumbarton Oaks. The artifact is presumed to depict the Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl.[2] Scientific analysis by the Smithsonian, though, shows the Dumbarton figure to be a probable fake from the late 1800s.[3][4] Other scholars are less certain, but express similar doubts.[5]

The Chachapoya culture was a genuine subject of interest for scientists under the Nazi government, particularly Jacques de Mahieu, who like the fictional Belloq was a French collaborator. Based on quotations from Spanish colonists (many of them fabricated), and on his interpretations of archaeological digs (since refuted), he argued that descendants of Vikings had once ruled Peru.[6][7]

In reality the Chachapoya did not build the elaborate trap systems portrayed in the film. However, they were accomplished builders of fortified cities as sites like Kuelap show. These structures were characteristically built on high slopes, unlike the temple hidden in heavily jungled lowlands in the film. Their sculptural style was far different from that of the Golden Idol, as shown by the sarcophagi at Carajía.

In popular culture[edit]

The "Golden Idol" appears in the fictional in-film movie Sand Pirates of the Sahara from the feature film The Majestic (2001). It was also shown briefly in S01E07 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in Jadzia Dax's quarters. It also appears briefly in the treasure room in the film Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams.

The idol can also be found on display in a museum in the third level of the 1998 video game Blood II: The Chosen.

A spoof of the idol scene shows up in the "Weird Al" Yankovic movie UHF (1989), however the actual idol is replaced with an Academy Award statuette.


  1. ^ a b c Luceno, James (2008). Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide. New York: DK Publishing. pp. P. 58–61. ISBN 978-0-7566-3500-8. 
  2. ^ "Tlazolteotl (photo of Dumbarton Oaks idol)". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Walsh, Jane MacLaren (May–June 2008). "Legend of the Crystal Skulls". Archaeology 61 (3). Retrieved 2009-07-20. the Tlazolteotl idol, like the crystal skulls, is a 19th century fake. 
  4. ^ Walsh, Jane MacLaren (2008). "La Tlazolteotl de Dumbarton Oaks: un regard sous la surface.English: The Dumbarton Oaks Tlazolteotl: looking beneath the surface" (English abstract). Journal of the Society of Américanistes (in French) (Société des Américanistes/ Society of Americanism.) 94 (1): 7–43. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  5. ^ Kubler, George. "Ancient American Gods and Their Living Impersonators". Dumbarton Oaks. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  6. ^ Ibarra Grasso, Dick Edgar (1997) Los Hombres Barbados en la América Precolombina p. 66
  7. ^ Llanos, Oscar Olmedo (2006) Paranoia Aimara p. 182

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Idol — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Golden Idol Tsvirko Igor Bolshoi theatre

Золотой Божок "Баядерка" 01.02.2013 Цвирко Игорь Большой театр.

La Bayadere Golden Idol

Ivan Vasiliev (The Bolshoi ballet) as Golden Idol in La Bayadere (Y.Grigorovich's version), 2007.

La Bayadere Golden Idol

Denis Medvedev (The Bolshoi Ballet) as Golden Idol in La Bayadere (Y.Grigorovich's version), 2001.

The Golden Idol, La Bayadère

Wilfried Romoli as the Golden Idol (l'Idole dorée) in "La Bayadère", Paris 1994. Music: Léon Minkus Choreography: Rudolf Nureyev (after Marius Petipa) Direct...

Dragon's Dogma - Como Conseguir o Golden Idol (C/ Comentario) [HD]

Nesse video eu mostro passo a passo como conseguir o Golden Idol, item necessario para ter acesso as melhores armas e armaduras do jogo! AVALIE E COMPARTILHE...

Kris Kristofferson - The Golden Idol/Killing Time

paschimanchal golden idol 2070

golden star multimedia pvt. ltd. presents.....

Golden Idol Philipp Stepin La Bayadere 30-6-2013

Bulletstorm - All Skillshots - General 1 - Golden Idol Achievement (Part 1)

Guide to show how to do these skillshots. Ive played and recorded 2 gameplays and decided to put the clips to use by making this guide. I will put more vids ...

La Bayadere Golden Idol

Gennadiy Yanin (The Bolshoi Ballet) as Golden Idol in La Bayadere by Grigorovic. The Bolshoi theater, 1990's.

1000000 videos foundNext > 

397 news items

Ahram Online
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 05:07:30 -0800

Railroad cemented the red carpet tradition when famous passengers walked on and off the train on a plush red carpet, adding to the luxury and uniqueness of the trip. Everyone in the film world now awaits the golden idol of film and fantasy, the most ...

Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)

Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:00:54 -0800

In this week's Torah portion we see quite clearly that the Modern Hebrew word for: “conversion” does not mean conversion in the Torah. What is beyond doubt is that Moses sojourned with Jetho, he did not convert to the religion of Jethro. In addition to ...


Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:06:04 -0800

On a humble $26.7 million budget, the 'Grand Budapest Hotel' has managed to impress fans worldover, to the tune of $174 millions! Are you one of them, who would bet your faith on Wes Anderson clinching the golden idol for 'Grand Budapest Hotel'? Then ...

Vancity Buzz

Vancity Buzz
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 09:00:51 -0800

Even if one or both Vancouverites return from Hollywood without a coveted golden idol, they will be far from being empty handed; win or lose, every single nominee will still receive a “Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag.” The goodie bag has ...
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:13:07 -0800

Steel Domain Wrestling is in Richfield, Minnesota at American Legion 6501 tonight at 7:00 p.m. CT. The advertised talent includes Ryan Slade, Danny Duggan, Craven Knyte, Big Sep, Ricky Love, Josh Calisto, Tyler Colton, The Golden Idol, Ariya Daivari ...


Sun, 02 Mar 2014 15:36:06 -0800

A funny thing happened on the way to the Oscars – a face-off of biblical proportions: God vs. the Golden Idol. Granted the Oscars regularly air on a Sunday. There's church and there's the Oscar TV show. But this time new ground has been broken. The Son ...
Ruidoso News
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 20:12:57 -0800

Nogal resident's granddaughter gets a golden 'Idol' ticket. By Kelly Brooks. kbrooks@ruidosonews.com. Posted: 01/23/2014 09:06:28 PM MST. Taylor Stearns gets a ticket to Hollywood to compete in the 13th season of American Idol. Stearns is the ...
Tue, 24 Jan 2012 20:33:00 -0800

How do you propose to the ultimate Indy fan? Not with snakes or crystal skulls, that's for sure. You pop the question with the snap of a whip. Or at least a whip ring. Reddit reader Homerliwag proposed to his own Willie Scott with this ring. Its band ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight