In the Indiana Jones universe, there are many “artifacts,” such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, that Indy searches for on his quest to never have to teach a class ever again. In his “expanded universe” however, there was a much more diverse set of artifacts than what the movies limited him to. We examine those in this following list.
10. Thomas Edison’s Electric Car
It is a historical fact that Thomas Edison worked on a battery powered by electricity for the Electric Vehicle Company. As a matter of fact, the Electric Vehicle Company was once the largest producers of automobiles in the United States. Don’t get too excited, they were mostly all for lease or rent. In the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, there was an episode titled “Princeton, 1916.” The show starts with an elderly Indiana Jones looking at a monster truck, before reminiscing about meeting Thomas Edison and the time he helped to stop German spies from breaking in to Edison’s old laboratory and making off with his electric motor.
9. Golden Mask of the Ramploo Elephant
In African societies of the 19th century, Elephant Masks would often denote a member of a royal society or the messenger/emissary of a royal. The masks were rare, but did in fact exist. Often, the masks would be painted red and have colorful beads to show wealth, as well as the ability to negotiate purchases. Often, the wearer of an elephant mask would wear a black robe, which would mean that they could even interact between the living and the dead.
In 1987, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style adventure, entitled Indiana Jones and the Mask of the Elephant, set Indy off on an adventure to find the fabled Golden Mask of the Ramploo Elephant. The Golden Mask was made of actual gold and bespectacled with jewels. Jones’ ability to find the mask depended on how well you navigated the choices in the book. According to the book’s legend, the Mask was made in order to ward off the spirit of a gigantic elephant.
8. The Great Machine of the Tower Of Babel
The Book Of Genesis, Chapter 11, refers briefly to the Tower of Babel. As an affront to God, the Tower of Babel is destroyed, and the people who made it are confounded with different languages and forced to spread out among the Earth. In the game Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Jones gets a possible idea of why the Tower needed to be destroyed. The Infernal Machine is actually divided into four parts. The assembled machine was in the heart of the Tower of Babel. In the game, when the parts were assembled they could reach out to the realm of the God Marduk.
7. Cup of Djemsheed
The 1984 “Find Your Fate” adventure Indiana Jones and the Cup of the Vampire may have foreshadowed a bit the eventual plot of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Cup of Djemsheed is a cup of the vampire Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula. The cup of blood (something like an anti-Grail) has the same effect as the Grail. and his book was published a half decade before the movie. There were several endings, including one which Indiana Jones found the fabled Cup of the Vampire. However, recovering the item also caused Dracula to be resurrected.
6. The Knife of Cain
In the 1990 book Young Indiana Jones and the Secret City, Indiana Jones comes into contact with the Knife of Cain. Supposedly, this was the object that Cain used to slay Abel in Genesis, Chapter 4. The exact verse states “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” There is no mention of a knife anywhere, but there had to be some method that the murder was carried out in. And, since guns didn’t exist back then, and a rock would have been too much of a pain, we can presume a knife did Abel in.
5. The Spear of Destiny
In April to July of 1995, Dark Horse Comics published Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny. Sometimes referred to as the Holy Lance, this is the spear that pierced Christ during the crucifixion. In the comic, there is a race to assemble the Spear between the Nazis (who have the tip) and Jones (who must find the rest.) The plot is not all that dissimilar from the made-for-television movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Of course, you would have to factor in that the television movie was released nearly a full ten years after the Indiana Jones comic.
4. The Philosopher’s Stone
If the title Indiana Jones and the Philosopher’s Stone sounds a bit familiar, then remember that the book was released in 1995, a full two years before the initial release date in Britain of J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The object is the same in both books. The Philosopher’s Stone in McCoy’s novel turns lead to gold, as well as grants eternal life. Indiana Jones and the Philosopher’s Stone also begins in London, England as well. There is a chance that maybe McCoy should think about writing books about boy wizards.
3. Eye of the Fates
In Greek Mythology, witches are referred to as the Graeae (or grey ones.) The witches have a mystical eye that they pass around to see not only their surroundings, but into the greater world as well. In the legend of Perseus, the Eye is alternately telling of where to find the objects to kill the Gorgon Medusa, or just where to find Medusa herself. In the “Find Your Fate” adventure Indiana Jones And The Eye of the Fates, Dr. Jones is on a quest to find the legendary eye, and may do so, with your help of course.
2. The Golden Fleece
In antiquity, the Golden Fleece was the fleece of a golden winged ram. In order to ascend to his kingdom, the hero Jason must recover the Golden Fleece by order of the King Pelias. The story was current in the time of Homer and, unlike Ray Harryhausen’s vision, included no mention of any type of army of skeletons. To be fair though, the army of skeletons was a wonderful touch. The Fleece held the promise that any army holding it could not be conquered. In order to stop the Nazis from having an assurance of eternal victory, Jones finds the Fleece in the two-issue comic book Indiana Jones and the Golden Fleece. Man, Indy dealt with Nazis more than we did. Too bad he wasn’t real; if he were, World War II would have been over in a month.
1. The Lost City of Atlantis
Ever since the time of Plato, there have been legends associated with the lost city of Atlantis. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was released as a comic by Dark Horse in 1991. LucasArts turned around and released a video game associated with Indy finding the lost city, in 1992. Since the franchise was fresh off the success of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, there was a belief by many fans that they were looking at the potential script for Indiana Jones 4. We all found out, a mere 16 years later, that this was not to be the case.
Of course, now Disney owns Lucasfilm, as well as the rights to the Jones character. Who knows what will happen next? Finding the lost underwater city of Atlantis, as well as all its secrets, certainly seemed more plausible than a bunch of crystal skulls that proved aliens existed.