Metal Detecting => The Treasure Hunter Forum => Topic started by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 04:55:31 AM

Title: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 04:55:31 AM
It would be nice to have a thread of world wide metal detecting or diving treasure finds. Now I know one mans treasure.... but anything that is made from a precious metal and gems is a good guideline.

So far I have only found Galena ore metal detecting, but someday I might find some treasure!

Jan 2007 - NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND - An ancient Celtic gold necklace unearthed in Nottinghamshire has been bought by a council for £350,000. Amateur treasure hunter Maurice Richardson found the torc with a metal detector near his Newark home in February 2005. Newark and Sherwood District Council has now bought the artefact, which dates back to 250 BC.

The authority plans to display the find along with an exhibition on its history in Newark in about 12 months. Sarah Midgley, the council's head of leisure and cultural services, said the authority felt compelled to buy the torc to preserve the area's heritage and prevent it from going overseas.

"The torc is one of the most significant pieces of Celtic artwork found in northern Europe and it proves that there was a significant community in the Newark area," she said. It is thought the relic, which would have been worn as a civic ornament, was buried as part of a religious offering.

An inquest declared the artefact to be "treasure" in May 2005. That meant Mr Richardson and Trinity College, Cambridge, who own the land where the torc was found, will share the £350,000. The authority is now looking at potential sites in the town to display the find, which is currently being looked after by the British Museum.

Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 04:57:01 AM
May 2007 - TAMPA, FL - Deep-sea explorers said Friday they have hauled up what could be the richest sunken treasure ever discovered: hundreds of thousands of colonial-era silver and gold coins worth an estimated $500 million from a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean.

A chartered cargo jet recently landed in the United States to unload hundreds of plastic containers packed with the 500,000 coins, which are expected to fetch an average of $1,000 each from collectors and investors.

"For this colonial era, I think (the find) is unprecedented," said rare coin expert Nick Bruyer, who was contracted by Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration to examine a batch of coins from the wreck. "I don't know of anything equal or comparable to it." Citing security concerns, the company declined to release any details about the ship or the wreck site.

Company co-founder Greg Stemm said a formal announcement will come later, but court records indicate the coins might have come from the wreck of a 17th century merchant ship found off southwestern England. Because the shipwreck was found in an area where many colonial-era vessels went down, the company is still uncertain about its nationality, size and age, Stemm said, although evidence points to a specific known shipwreck.

The site is beyond the territorial waters or legal jurisdiction of any country, he said. "Rather than a shout of glee, it's more being able to exhale for the first time in a long time," Stemm said of the haul, by far the biggest in Odyssey's 13-year history. He would not say if the loot was taken from the same wreck site near the English Channel that Odyssey recently petitioned a federal court for permission to salvage.

"In seeking exclusive rights to that site, an Odyssey attorney told a federal judge last fall that the company likely had found the remains of a 17th-century merchant vessel that sank with valuable cargo aboard, about 40 miles off the southwestern tip of England. A judge granted those rights Wednesday.

In keeping with the secretive nature of the project dubbed "Black Swan," Odyssey also is not discussing details of the coins, such as their type, denomination or country of origin. Bruyer said he observed a wide variety of coins that probably were never circulated. He said the currency was in much better condition than artifacts yielded by most shipwrecks of a similar age. The coins - mostly silver pieces - could fetch several hundred to several thousand dollars each, with some possibly commanding much more, he said.

Value is determined by rarity, condition and the story behind them. Other experts said the condition and value of the coins could vary so much that the price estimate was little more than an educated guess. "It's absolutely impossible to accurately determine the value without knowing the contents and the condition of the retrieved coins. It's like trying to appraise a house or a car over the phone," said Donn Pearlman, a rare coin expert and spokesman for the Professional Numismatists Guild. Experts said that controlled release of the coins into the market along with aggressive marketing should keep prices at a premium.

The richest-ever shipwreck haul was yielded by the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. Treasure-hunting pioneer Mel Fisher found it in 1985, retrieving a reported $400 million in coins and other loot.

Odyssey likely will return to the same spot for more coins and artifacts. "We have treated this site with kid gloves and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed," Odyssey CEO John Morris said. "We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance."

The company salvaged more than 50,000 coins and other artifacts from the wreck of the SS Republic off Savannah, Ga., in 2003, making millions. But Odyssey posted losses in 2005 and 2006 while using its state-of-the-art ships and deep-water robotic equipment to hunt for the next mother lode. "The outside world now understands that what we do is a real business and is repeatable and not just a lucky one-shot deal," Stemm said.

In January, Odyssey won permission from the Spanish government to resume a suspended search for the wreck of the HMS Sussex, which was leading a British fleet into the Mediterranean Sea for a war against France in 1694 when it sank in a storm off Gibraltar. Historians believe the 157-foot warship was carrying nine tons of gold coins to buy the loyalty of the Duke of Savoy, a potential ally in southeastern France. Odyssey believes those coins could also fetch more than $500 million. But under the terms of an agreement, Odyssey will have to share any finds with the British government. The company will get 80 percent of the first $45 million and about 50 percent of the proceeds thereafter.

Odyssey also is seeking exclusive rights to what is believed to be an Italian-registered passenger vessel that sank during World War I in the Mediterranean Sea east of Sardinia, and to another discovered in the Mediterranean about 100 miles west of Gibraltar.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 04:58:11 AM
June 2007 - KEY WEST, FL - A treasure salvage boat carrying an estimated $1 million worth of 17th century gold and artifacts from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon discovered off Key West is to return to shore Thursday morning.

A gold bar, eight gold chains including two that measure more than 4 feet long, 11 ornate gold pieces and hundreds of other artifacts were recovered earlier this week by divers from Blue Water Ventures of Key West. Among the most intriguing discoveries was an 8-inch-long closed lead box. A small gap in its seal allowed salvagers to glimpse contents thought to be pearls (several thousand).

Found in approximately 18 feet of water, about 40 miles west of Key West, the items are believed to come from the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita. The Margarita sank off the Florida Keys in a 1622 hurricane.

An initial cache of treasure and artifacts from the Santa Margarita was discovered in 1980 by the late shipwreck salvor Mel Fisher. Fisher is best known for his 1985 discovery of the treasure of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank in the same hurricane that claimed the Margarita.

Dr. R. Duncan Mathewson III, partner and director of archaeology for Blue Water Ventures, said Blue Water's team has been searching for the remainder of the Margarita wrecksite for two years under a joint venture agreement with the Fisher group, now headed by Mel Fisher's son, Kim Fisher. The elder Fisher began a quest to find the 1622 galleons in 1970.

The latest finds, Mathewson said, occurred in an area known as the Quicksands. The artifacts and treasure will be taken to the Fisher group's Key West headquarters for cataloging and conservation. Experts plan to attempt opening the sealed metal box Friday afternoon after its initial conservation and examination. Mathewson estimates more than $100 million worth of artifacts and treasure from the Santa Margarita remains to be recovered.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 04:58:51 AM
July 2007 - YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND - The most important Viking treasure find in Britain for 150 years has been unearthed by a father and son while metal detecting in Yorkshire. David and Andrew Whelan uncovered the hoard, which dates back to the 10th Century, in Harrogate in January.

The pair kept their find intact and it was transferred to the British Museum to be examined by experts, who said the discovery was "phenomenal". It was declared as a treasure at a court hearing in Harrogate on Thursday. North Yorkshire coroner Geoff Fell said: "Treasure cases are always interesting, but this is one of the most exciting cases that I have ever had to rule on. "I'm delighted that such an important Viking hoard has been discovered in North Yorkshire. We are extremely proud of our Viking heritage in this area."

Metal detectorists David and Andrew Whelan, who uncovered the treasures, said the find was a "thing of dreams". The pair, from Leeds, said the hoard was worth about £750,000 as a conservative estimate. They told the BBC News website: "We've been metal detecting for about five years; we do it on Saturdays as a hobby. "We ended up in this particular field, we got a really strong signal from the detector... Eventually we found this cup containing the coins and told the antiquity authority. "We were astonished when we finally discovered what it contained."

The ancient objects come from as far afield as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe. The hoard contains 617 silver coins and 65 other objects, including a gold arm-ring and a gilt silver vessel. Dr Jonathan Williams, keeper of prehistory in Europe at the British Museum, said: "[The cup] is beautifully decorated and was made in France or Germany at around AD900. "It is fantastically rare - there are only a handful of others known around the world. It will be stunning when it is fully conserved."

Most of the smaller objects were extremely well preserved as they had been hidden inside the vessel, which was protected by a lead container. The British Museum said the coins included several new or rare types, which provide valuable new information about the history of England in the early 10th Century, as well as Yorkshire's wider cultural contacts in the period.

It was probably buried for safety by a wealthy Viking leader during the unrest following the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria in AD927. A spokeswoman for the museum said: "The size and quality of the hoard is remarkable, making it the most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years."

The find will now be valued for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport by the Independent Treasure Valuation Committee. Dr Williams said that the British Museum and the York Museums Trust would be looking to raise the funds to purchase the collection so it could eventually go on public display. The proceeds would be split between the finders and landowners.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 04:59:38 AM
October 2007 - ENGLAND - An ancient coin believed to be around 500-years-old has been found in a part of south east Northumberland. The rare gold coin was discovered by a treasure seeker in Choppington and is thought to be one of only a handful of the same kind found in the UK.

Known as an Angel Coin because of the depiction of an angel on one side of it, experts say the coin would have belonged to someone of great wealth and social standing, possibly a merchant trader, in medieval times.

Thought to have been minted in the 1500s, the rare discovery has excited historians and archaeologists in the region who have been desperate to catch a glimpse of the coin first-hand. However, few have clapped eyes on the artifact which is due to be auctioned off in London in the coming weeks.

It is expected to fetch thousands, but there has been widespread disappointment that the unknown seller has decided not to report the coin to the finds liaison officer at the Museum of Antiquities for the North East. Rob Collins, finds liaison officer at Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities, said the discovery was very exciting, not only for Northumberland but the region as a whole.

He told the News Post Leader: "Gold coins don't turn up very often, they are fairly rare finds. "They are normally found in very good condition as gold doesn't corrode so they appear quite lusty in that sense. "Gold coins like this represent a considerable amount of wealth to the person at the time, so in that way, it's very rare for gold coins to be lost or dropped. "This particular coin would have belonged to someone like a merchant or possibly some type of nobility."

Although Mr Collins has only seen photographs of the coin, he says he would like to have seen it in the flesh in order to verify its identity. "It's important for me to see such artifacts and verify them. "It's disappointing not to be able to see the coin and speak to the finder as well," he said.

Local historian, John Dawson, of Cambois, said the coin was discovered somewhere near the Choppington Pit, between Choppington and Guide Post and claims it could be worth up to £20,000. He said: "One coin is a find but if another was to be found in the same area then it becomes a treasure trove. "The coin would have been made sometime between 1505 and 1529 and it is thought that only another nine have been found in this country."
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:01:30 AM
January 2008 - SENORA DESERT, MEXICO - The austere and forbidding Sonoran Desert of the United States and Mexico regularly experiences some of the most extreme weather in the Western Hemisphere. Daytime temperatures often exceed 125 degrees in the shade even as blast-furnace winds swiftly strip life-sustaining water from the few men and animals tough enough and wily enough to make a living in this land of stark, unforgiving beauty. Yet life not only goes on here; it sometimes succeeds in ways that cannot be foreseen even in our wildest dreams. Myths and tales of lost treasure seem to spring into being from out of nowhere. Virtually every remote village has its legends of lost mines and treasure: the Oro de Moctezuma, Tayopa, El Naranjal. Every story is different yet all are the same: A rich deposit of gold or silver is found, and then lost through calamity, treachery or political upheaval. The saga of the "Boot of Cortez" is very much in keeping with all of these tales of discovery and loss - with one exception: This tale is true.

The story begins in 1989 in the area around Caborca, near the Gran Desierto de Altar in the Mexican state of Sonora. The nearest surface water is the Sea of Cortez; some 60 miles to the west. Arizona is 70 miles to the north. Ranching is the chief occupation, but there are a number of mines in the area along with placer gold deposits in some of the canyons. It is within these dry canyons that a local Mexican man began his quest to find hidden treasure in the form of placer nuggets. Some finds of nuggets had been made in the past, and fired with optimistic enthusiasm; our gold-seeker grew determined to find his share. At this point, our latter-day prospector did something very much at odds with tradition: visiting a Radio Shack store - he purchased a metal detector. Practicing on buried coins and other metal objects, he learned how to operate it, and then he set out for an area that was reported to have produced nuggets. Once there, he started to walk; slowly and carefully across the desert, all the while following a grid pattern that would ensure that no areas would be unchecked. Hundreds of boring hours slowly ebbed away with an occasional 'beep' from his ear-phones to signal a potential find. Most were due to scrap iron or old lead bullets. Then one day; the 'beep' sounded a little different. Digging down; he caught that first gleam from his own personal El Dorado. Hardly believing his eyes he kept digging, the gleaming surface kept going - and going. By the time he had completely uncovered this incredible nugget, it was obvious that it was huge. Just hauling it back to his home was a chore since it weighed over twelve kilograms. There; a gentle washing removed the last traces of dust left on the surface from its subterranean resting place. Now the enormity of his find engulfed him: What to do with this massive nugget, shaped like the boot of a conquistador of old? Who could help him with advice regarding the ways of selling such a thing? Ah, but of course - the Patron. He would know. And he did.

Since that fateful day in the Desierto, the "Boot of Cortez" has passed through a number of hands and has been marveled at by hundreds of thousands of museum-goers. It was one of the star exhibits at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in 2004, the theme of which was simply: "Gold". Based on its enthusiastic response by the public, the owner of the "Boot" was solicited to place it on loan for the traveling "Gold" exhibition assembled by the Houston Museum of Natural Science where it was exhibited in 2005, along with other notable specimens from: the Smithsonian, Harvard and other major collections. The exhibition then moved to the American Museum of Natural History in 2006 where it opened to rave reviews by collectors and casual visitors alike. After almost a year in New York City, the exhibition recently closed in August 2007.

Its pristine condition and unique shape have earned it the sobriquet "the most unusual and attractive large nugget in the World" and at 389.4 ounces Troy (32.4 Troy pounds) it is the largest surviving placer nugget from the Western Hemisphere. The 2nd largest nugget is Alaskan and is almost 100 ounces smaller. It has a bright, rich golden-yellow color which indicates a high purity (approximately 94% + pure). There have been larger masses of gold but these have consisted primarily of intermixtures of gold and worthless rock. The "Boot of Cortez" measures a stunning 10 3/4 inches in height and 7 1/4 inches in width.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:03:02 AM
April 2008 - WINDHOEK, NAMBIA, - De Beers, the world's biggest undersea diamond miner, said its geologists in Namibia found the wreckage of an ancient sailing ship still laden with treasure, including six bronze cannons, thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins and more than 50 elephant tusks. The wreckage was discovered in the area behind a sea wall used to push back the Atlantic Ocean in order to search for diamonds in Namibia's Sperrgebiet or "Forbidden Zone."

"If the experts assessments are correct, the shipwreck could date back to the late 1400s or early 1500s, making it a discovery of global significance," Namdeb Diamond Corp., a joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government, said in an e-mailed statement from the capital, Windhoek, today.

The site yielded a wealth of objects, including several tons of copper, more than 50 elephant tusks, pewter tableware, navigational instruments, weapons and the gold coins, which were minted in the late 1400s and early 1500s, according to the statement. The Namibian government will claim ownership of the treasure found, Halifa Mbako, group corporate affairs manager at Namdeb, said in a telephone interview from Windhoek today.

"By Namibian law, discoveries of this nature belong to the state," he said. "The discovery was found in our mining area, but the treasure belongs to the state." The Namibian government is in consultations with the governments of Spain and Portugal to try and identify the ship, which was most likely a trading vessel, given the goods on board, said.

On April 1, Bob Burrell, the head of Namdeb's Mineral Resource Department, found some rounded copper ingots and the remains of three bronze cannons in the sand. "All mining operations were halted, the site secured and Dr. Dieter Noli, an archaeologist and expert in the Sperrgebiet, was brought into the project and identified the cannons as Spanish breach-loaders of a type popular in the early 1500s," Namdeb said.

The find may be the oldest sub-Saharan shipwreck ever discovered, Namdeb said. "If this proves to be a contemporary of the ships sailed by the likes of Diaz, Da Gama and Columbus, it would be of immense national and international interest and Namibia's most important archaeological find of the century," according to the statement.

Diamonds have been mined along the south-western coast of Namibia and in its coastal waters for the last 100 years. De Beers, the world's largest diamond company, is 45 percent owned by Anglo American Plc, 40 percent held by the Oppenheimer family and 15 percent owned by the government of Botswana.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:04:48 AM
May 2008 - KEY WEST, FLORIDA - Experts found a tiny gold combined toothpick and earwax spoon, believed to be more than 385 years old, during the search for a shipwrecked Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys. The late 16th or early 17th century grooming tool, which weighs only about an ounce, was located Sunday by Blue Water Ventures diver Chris Rackley as he searched the area about 22 feet below the surface and 40 miles west of Key West. He says its value could exceed $100,000.

The divers, who are searching the shipwreck trail of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita that sank in a 1622 hurricane, also recovered ceramic pieces, spikes, ships' fittings, rigging elements and two skeleton keys. "We were on the trail on the Margarita site following the artifact scatter pattern to the north," said Blue Water head archaeologist Dr. R. Duncan Mathewson. "This is the furthest point on that trail where gold has ever been found before, so it confirms that we're on the right trail."

The search for Santa Margarita artifacts began more than a quarter-century ago by the late Key West treasure hunter Mel Fisher. Today, the Blue Water team is leading that search under a joint-venture partnership with the Fisher family owned company, Motivation Inc.

Almost a year ago, Blue Water divers located gold bars, gold chains and a lead box containing thousands of pearls that were carried by the Margarita. The value of that find was estimated at more than $2 million.

Ear wax spoon?! I thought that is what your finger nails were for... Haha Just Kidding!

Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:06:04 AM
June 2008 - KEY WEST, FLORIDA - Shipwreck salvagers have recovered a gold chalice while searching for the wreckage of a Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys. The ornate two-handled chalice stands on a gold base and is adorned with etched scrollwork on the upper portion. It was located by Blue Water Ventures diver Michael DeMar beneath about a foot of sand in 18 feet of water approximately 30 miles west of Key West.

"Oh, my God," diver Michael DeMar said, describing his discovery of the chalice on the site where the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita is believed to have gone down during a vicious storm.

Dented on a few sides and encrusted with marine growth, the chalice weighs more than a pound is etched with scrollwork and boasts decorative handles.

The wreck was from a Spanish fleet that sank during a Sept. 6, 1622, hurricane. Over the past quarter century, it has yielded the biggest treasure find in U.S. history.

The late Key West treasure hunter Mel Fisher began the search for artifacts from the Santa Margarita, which sank in 1622, more than a quarter-century ago.

The chalice is slated to arrive at a Key West laboratory Wednesday morning. Experts hope cleaning it will reveal more details of a crest etched inside the bottom of the piece. Salvors estimated the value of the chalice at at one million dollars or more.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:06:53 AM
August 2008 - NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND - A pure gold cross dating from the 7th century has been discovered by a man with a metal detector. The inch-long piece of Anglo Saxon jewellery is made out of 18-carat gold and was probably worn as a pendant. Experts believe the English-made piece could be worth at least £25,000. It is thought the cross, which is decorated with fine detail and adorned with red gemstones, might have originally held a religious relic. Two of the four gemstones and any relic are missing.

A treasure hunter found an Anglo-Saxon cross in a field in Nottinghamshire. It is made with gold probably melted down from Merovingian French coins. Two of the red cabochon gemstones are missing as is the relic that would have been kept in its centre. The red stones are among the world's most ancient gems and were used by ancient Greeks who called them granatum, the same word they used for pomegranate seeds.

The anonymous finder discovered the 1,400-year-old cross just 12 inches beneath the sod on a farm in Nottinghamshire. He had already unearthed a Saxon penny and beaten copper plate before probing deeper. "Instinctively I put down the digger and scraped gently at the soil with my gloved hand," he said. "Then I made contact with a piece of metal that made me want to remove my glove. It seemed warm, almost alive, to my touch. My fingers closed on it and when I opened them I was gazing down, literally with my jaw dropped in astonishment, at the most wonderful find I've ever recovered."

He handed the find to a coroner who declared it as treasure trove at an inquest. This means the finder will get half the proceeds of a sale. He is likely to split his earnings with the farmer. The specific location of the find is being kept secret for fear that so-called 'nighthawks' will descend on it in case there is anything else to be found.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:07:41 AM
August 2008 - LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND - A treasure hunter was stunned when he unearthed a beautiful and historic gold ring with a rare black diamond set inside it in a muddy field. John Stevens, 42, couldn't believe his eyes when he rubbed off the soil and saw lettering indicating the ring was from the early medieval period, possibly the 11th century. It is believed the ring would have belonged to a wealthy person either from the Church, or possibly even royalty. Black diamonds are rare today and would have been even rarer nearly 1,000 years ago, having come from Africa. The ring has not yet been valued but is thought it could be worth tens of thousands of pounds. It is currently being examined and will go to an inquest where it will almost certainly be recorded as treasure.

Mr Stevens, a businessman from Hinckley, has been metal detecting for 30 years, and this find in his home county of Leicestershire is his most valuable yet. After discovering it he contacted antiquities specialist Brett Hammond from Time Line Originals. Hammond said: "I arranged for him to take it to the finds liaison officer in his area under the portable antiquities scheme. It was clearly an important item of treasure. It is a gold ring possibly containing a rare black diamond. It is a beautiful early medieval inscribed finger ring that would have been owned by a very wealthy person, in the Church or possible even royalty. Common people in that era were not even allowed to own gold, so it must have been owned by a powerful person. The ring has gone to the coroner pending an inquest and if tests show what we think it is a museum will almost certainly be interesting in acquiring it."

Stevens said he was with friends in a ploughed field when he came across the ring about five inches down. He said: "We have a really good relationship with the local farmer who more or less gives us a free reign on any fields that have no crops growing. We had noticed a few days earlier that he was busy ploughing up the field in question, so it at once became our target for the day. I stuck at it for a couple of hours and had only a few interesting artefacts for my efforts. Then I found an Edward halfpenny and hope returned only to fade again as the day yielded rather less than we had hoped for. Some of my friends had switched off their detectors and were walking back to their cars.I was about to join them when I got a really good signal. The others grouped round me as I dropped to my knees and dug to a depth of about five inches, then pulled out a clod of damp soil. From the side of it I could see gold. One of my friends thought it was a bottle top but as my fingers closed on it I knew it had never wrapped around the top of a bottle. It is boldly inscribed with lettering that certainly looks very early medieval to my untrained eye. I don't know yet what the letters spell out, but if they indicate a royal owner it might be worth tens of thousand of pounds."
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:08:42 AM
October 2008 - SUMATRA - "The local fishermen believe that there are underwater spirits guarding the wrecks," says Tilman Walterfang, as our boatman picks his way through a maze of coral reefs and submerged rocks. "Sometimes, they perform prayers on the boats, sacrificing a goat, spreading the blood everywhere, to keep the vessel safe."

I am on a fishing boat in the Gaspar Strait, near Belitung Island, off the south-east coast of Sumatra. Since time immemorial, this funnel-shaped passage linking the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean has been one of the two main shipping routes. The Malacca Straits is the other, from China to the West. A British sea captain, shipwrecked here in 1817, called it "the most dangerous area between China and London".

Ten years ago, at a spot known locally as "Black Rock", two men diving for sea cucumbers came across a large pile of sand and coral. Digging a hole, they reached in and pulled out a barnacle-encrusted bowl. Then another. And another. They had stumbled on the oldest, most important, marine archaeological discovery ever made in South East Asia, an Arab dhow - or ship - built of teak, coconut wood and hibiscus fibre, packed with a treasure that Indiana Jones could only dream of.

There were 63,000 pieces of gold, silver and ceramics from the fabled Tang dynasty, which flourished between the seventh and 10th centuries. Among the artefacts was the largest Tang gold cup ever discovered and some of the finest Yue ware - a porcelain that the ancient Chinese likened to snow because of its delicacy.

The exceptional quality of the goods has led some scholars to suggest that these were gifts from the Tang Emperor himself. The bulk of the cargo was more homely, including 40,000 Changsha bowls, named after the Changsha kilns in Hunan Province, where they were produced. Found packed inside tall, earthenware jars, some experts believe bean sprouts were placed between the bowls as a sort of organic bubble-wrap. These brightly painted tea bowls were the Tang equivalent of plastic food containers.

"It looks like they were approaching Tanjung Pandang, the main town on Belitung Island, when they hit the reef," explains Walterfang, the stocky German treasure hunter who salvaged the wreck. The Belitung wreck is a time capsule that has revolutionised our understanding of two ancient civilisations that fill the airwaves today, China and the Middle East

"They may have come here for water or other supplies. Perhaps there was an emergency. Or even an attack by pirates. "But we cannot know. It was nearly 1,200 years ago." Magically, everything was perfectly preserved by a layer of silt. Raised from the seabed more than a millennium later, the gold cups and bronze mirrors, silver boxes and ewers look as fresh as the day they were created.

In 2005, the Singapore government paid more than £20m to acquire the treasure as the centrepiece for a new maritime museum. But it is not just about bling. The Belitung wreck is a time capsule that has revolutionised our understanding of two ancient civilisations that fill the airwaves today - China and the Middle East.

The serial nature of the cargo - 1,000 miniature funeral urns and 800 identical inkpots - shows that China was mass-producing goods for export several centuries earlier than previously thought. The Arab dhow, the first of its kind ever found, proves something equally startling - that mariners from the Persian Gulf were trading on a scale, and over distances, unmatched by human beings until Vasco da Gama set sail for India at the end of the 15th Century. Sinbad the Sailor was for real.

One of the Changsha bowls bore a date stamp, "the 16th Day of the seventh Month of the second Year of the Baoli reign", or AD 826. Carbon-14 analysis of some star anise found in the wreck confirmed this as the probable date of the dhow's departure from China.

Most scholars believe it set sail from Canton, or Guangzhou, as it is today, the largest of the five ports servicing the Maritime Silk Route. No-one knows exactly where the dhow was heading when it struck the coral reef. Its most likely destination was a place familiar to us for other reasons, the Iraqi port of Samara, or Basra as it is called today. In the 9th Century, Basra was one of the wealthiest cities in the world, with a prosperous merchant class hungry for Chinese luxury goods.

Among the most sensational artefacts found in the wreck are three dishes decorated with cobalt from Iran which represent the oldest blue and white ware ever found, setting back by several hundred years the invention of what would become known all over the world simply as "china."
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:09:28 AM
November 2008 - AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - A hobbyist with a metal detector struck both gold and silver when he uncovered an important cache of ancient Celtic coins in a cornfield in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht. "It's exciting, like a little boy's dream," Paul Curfs, 47, said Thursday after the spectacular find was made public.

Archaeologists say the trove of 39 gold and 70 silver coins was minted in the middle of the first century B.C. as the future Roman ruler Julius Caesar led a campaign against Celtic tribes in the area.

Curfs said he was walking with his detector this spring and was about to go home when he suddenly got a strong signal on his earphones and uncovered the first coin. "It was golden and had a little horse on it - I had no idea what I had found," he said.

After posting a photo of the coin on a Web forum, he was told it was a rare find. The following day he went back and found another coin. "It looked totally different - silver, and saucer-shaped," he said. Curfs notified the city of his find, and he and several other hobbyists helped in locating the rest of the coins, in cooperation with archaeologists.

Nico Roymans, the archaeologist who led the academic investigation of the find, believes the gold coins in the cache were minted by a tribe called the Eburones that Caesar claimed to have wiped out in 53 B.C. after they conspired with other groups in an attack that killed 6,000 Roman soldiers. The Eburones "put up strong resistance to Caesar's journeys of conquest," Roymans said.

The silver coins were made by tribes further to the north - possible evidence of cooperation against Caesar, he said. Both coin types have triple spirals on the front, a common Celtic symbol. The two other known caches of Eburones coins have been found in neighboring Belgium and Germany.

Maastricht city spokeswoman Carla Wetzels said the value of the coins is not known - their worth is primarily historical. The Belgian cache of similar size was estimated at around 175,000 euros ($220,000).

The farmer who owned the land agreed to sell his interest to the city for an undisclosed sum. Curfs, a teacher at a nearby junior college, continues to own the 11 coins he found, but has lent them to the City of Maastricht on a long-term basis. The coins will go on display at the Centre Ceramique museum in Maastricht this weekend.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:10:14 AM
November 2008 - LONDON, ENGLAND - An amateur treasure hunter hit gold when he found an Iron Age collar worth more than 350,000 pounds sterling (414,000 euros, 520,000 dollars) in a field, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Maurice Richardson, who unearthed the 2,200-year-old gold collar near Newark will not get to keep it but has received an undisclosed reward and his lucky find has been acquired by his local museum. "I was only in the field because a customer kept me late," Richardson, a tree surgeon, told the Guardian newspaper. "Normally I'd never want to go into this field because a plane crashed there in the last war, and the whole place is littered with bits of metal."

Richardson's first discovery in the field was a piece of World War Two scrap metal but as he bent down to throw it away, his metal detector emitted a louder beep. It was then that he discovered the collar, which was hailed by a leading expert as one of the most important finds of its kind in years.

"It's a fabulous thing, the best Iron Age find in 50 years," J.D. Hill, head of the British Museum in London's Iron Age department, told the paper. "When I first saw a picture of it, I thought somebody was pulling my leg because it is so like the Sedgeford torc in our collection that it must have been made by the same hand.

"What is fascinating about it is that it turned up where no torc should be -- to put it mildly, the Newark region is not known for major high-status Iron Age finds." The BBC reported that the necklace was the most expensive single piece of treasure found by a member of the public in over a decade.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:10:49 AM
December 2008 - JERUSALEM - The Israel Antiquities Authority reported a thrilling find Sunday -- the discovery of 264 ancient gold coins in Jerusalem National Park. The coins were minted during the early 7th century.

"This is one of the largest and most impressive coin hoards ever discovered in Jerusalem, certainly the largest and most important of its period," said Doron Ben-Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets, who are directing the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Researchers discovered the coins at the beginning of the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which started at sunset on Sunday. One of the customs of the holiday is to give "gelt," or coins, to children, and the archaeologists are referring to the find as "Hanukkah money."

The 1,400-year-old coins were found in the Giv'ati car park in the City of David in the walls around Jerusalem National Park, a site that has yielded other finds, including a well-preserved gold earring with pearls and precious stones.

They were in a collapsed building that dates back to the 7th century, the end of the Byzantine period. The coins bear a likeness of Heraclius, who was the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641. In that style, the emperor is clad with military garb and is holding a cross in his right hand. One the other side, there is the sign of the cross.

Authorities said the excavation of the building where the hoard was discovered is in its early stages. They are attempting to learn about the building and its owner and the circumstances of its destruction. "Since no pottery vessel was discovered adjacent to the hoard, we can assume that it was concealed inside a hidden niche in one of the walls of the building. It seems that with its collapse, the coins piled up there among the building debris," Ben-Ami and Tchekhanovets said.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:11:22 AM
January 2009 - SUFFOLK, ENGLAND - One of the UK's largest hauls of Iron Age gold coins, which would have been worth in today's money up to £1m, has been found in Suffolk. The 824 so-called staters were found in a broken pottery jar buried in a field near Wickham Market by a local man using a metal detector.

Jude Plouviez, of the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, said the coins dated from 40BC to AD15. They are thought to have been minted by predecessors of Iceni Queen Boudicca. Ms Plouviez said their value when in circulation had been estimated at a modern equivalent of between £500,000 and £1m, but they were likely to be worth less than that now.

"It's a good, exciting find. It gives us a lot of new information about the late Iron Age, and particularly East Anglia in the late Iron Age. The discovery is important because it highlights the probable political, economic and religious importance of an area. It certainly suggests there was a significant settlement nearby. As far as we understand, it was occupied by wealthy tribes or subtribes," she said.

Ms Plouviez said the find was the largest collection of Iron Age gold coins found in Britain since 1849, when a farm worker unearthed between 800 and 2,000 gold staters in a field near Milton Keynes. She said secret excavations had been carried out on the latest find in Suffolk after a man reported it to the council's archaeological service in October.

The staters, which each weigh about 5g, will now be valued ahead of a treasure trove inquest. "We don't know how much they will be worth but it will be less than they were at the time," said Ms Plouviez.

"After the treasure trove inquest, they will be offered to museums at their current value." She said the exact location of the find would not be made public but added "thorough" searches of the area had not uncovered any further artefacts.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:12:04 AM
June 2009 - HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND - After seven years of combing fields and beaches with a metal detector, the only thing housewife Mary Hannaby had to show for her hobby was an old dental plate. But all those efforts paid off when her first proper find turned out to be a 15th-century gold treasure valued at £250,000 or more. The find is thought to be part of a high-quality reliquary or pendant, and depicts the Holy Trinity.

Mrs Hannaby, 57, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, heard her metal detector's tell-tale beep while out on one of her regular six-hour Sunday detecting walks with her son, woodcarver Michael, 33.

For 500 years, the treasure had lain buried four inches below the ground, despite repeated ploughing. The discovery is all the more astonishing as this was not the first time the Hannabys had scoured the arable field between Ashridge and Great Gaddesden.

"You get a buzz every time you get a signal, but chances are it won't be anything," said Mrs Hannaby. "This time, it popped up all of a sudden," said her son. "You can literally miss things by inches. We couldn't believe it. We always dreamed of finding treasure." And the pair struck gold again when the landowner refused Mrs Hannaby's offer to split the money equally and said he wanted only 30 per cent, saying he would never have known about the treasure if not for her.

Under the Treasure Act of 1996, finders must report potential treasure such as gold and silver objects more than 300 years old. Finders are offered the market value for their discoveries which museums have first option to buy.

At 2.8cm by 2.3cm, the treasure is barely larger than a postage stamp, but its importance is exciting experts. Roger Bland, head of treasure at the British Museum, describes it as an 'important find', and regrets that the museum does not currently have the funds to buy it.

Carolyn Miner, sculpture specialist at Sotheby's, was 'awestruck' when the Hannabys first showed the treasure to her and will auction it in London on July 9. As one of only three of its kind to have survived, the find could be worth even more than £250,000, and its engraving is being compared to that of the Middleham Jewel, which sold at auction for £1.3 million in 1986, and was later resold to the Yorkshire Museum for £2.5 million.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:12:41 AM
August 2009 - YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND - Two amateur diggers in northern England have together pocketed 541,000 pounds ($878,000) for finding the most important Viking treasure of its kind in 150 years, soon to go on show at the British Museum.

Metal-detector users David and Andrew Whelan, a father-and- son team, uncovered the hoard in 2007, in Harrogate, Yorkshire, and handed it to the local representative of a national program that registers archaeological finds. The treasure was valued at 1.08 million pounds and has been bought for the nation, with the money split between the finders and landowner.

Andrew Whelan, a 37-year-old real-estate surveyor, recalled setting out on a "fairly typical dreary January day" with his retired father to scour a field that had never yielded anything. Shortly after arriving, David ran over to say he’d hit a hoard.

"The first thing that we found was the bowl, a cup. There were bits of silver chains poking through, and just the edge of a couple of coins," said Andrew Whelan in an interview. He described seeing ingots, a gold bracelet, and perfectly stacked coins. The treasure was placed in plastic Tupperware, taken home, and reported.

The treasure consists of 67 precious-metal objects including bracelets, ornaments, and ingots; 617 coins -- and the gilt silver vessel that contained most of the smaller objects, according to the British Museum. The vessel was made in France or Germany in the mid-9th century, and seems to have been intended for church services.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:13:24 AM
September 2009 - SHROPSHIRE, ENGLAND - A massive haul of more than 10,000 Roman coins has been unearthed by an amateur metal detecting enthusiast - on his first ever treasure hunt. The silver and bronze "nummi" coins, dating from between 240AD and 320AD, were discovered in a farmer's field near Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, last month. Finder Nick Davies, 30, was on his first treasure hunt when he discovered the coins, mostly crammed inside a buried 70 lb clay pot.

Experts say the coins have spent an estimated 1,700 years underground. The stunning collection of coins, most of which were found inside the broken brown pot, was uncovered by Nick during a search of land in the Shrewsbury area - just a month after he took up the hobby of metal detecting.

His amazing find is one of the largest collections of Roman coins ever discovered in Shropshire. And the haul could be put on display at Shrewsbury's new £10million heritage centre, it was revealed today. It is also the biggest collection of Roman coins to be found in Britain this year.

Nick, from Ford, Shropshire, said he never expected to find anything on his first treasure hunt - especially anything of any value. He recalled the discovery and described it as "fantastically exciting." Nick said: "The top of the pot had been broken in the ground and a large number of the coins spread in the area. "All of these were recovered during the excavation with the help of a metal detector. "This added at least another 300 coins to the total - it's fantastically exciting. I never expected to find such treasure on my first outing with the detector."

The coins have now been sent to the British Museum for detailed examination, before a report is sent to the coroner. Experts are expected to spend several months cleaning and separating the coins, which have fused together. They will also give them further identification before sending them to the coroner. A treasure trove inquest is then expected to take place next year. Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, records archaeological finds made by the public in England and Wales. He said the coins were probably payment to a farmer or community at the end of a harvest. Speaking to the Shropshire Star, Mr Reavill said the coins appear to date from the period 320AD to 340AD, late in the reign of Constantine I. He said: "The coins date to the reign of Constantine I when Britain was being used to produce food for the Roman Empire. It is possible these coins were paid to a farmer who buried them and used them as a kind of piggy-bank."

Mr Reavill said that among the coins were issues celebrating the anniversary of the founding of Rome and Constantinople. In total the coins and the pot weigh more than 70lb. He added: "This is probably one of the largest coin hoards ever discovered in Shropshire. The finder, Nick Davies, bought his first metal detector a month ago and this is his first find made with it. The coins were placed in a very large storage jar which had been buried in the ground about 1,700 years ago." However, Mr Reavill declined to put a figure on either the value of the coins or the pot until the findings of the inquest are known, but he described the discovery as a "large and important" find. Mr Reavill said the exact location of the find could not be revealed for security reasons.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:14:50 AM
September 2009 - LONDON, ENGLAND - A man using a metal detector in a rural English field has uncovered the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard ever found -- an "unprecedented" treasure that sheds new light on history, archaeologists said Thursday. The hoard includes 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of gold and 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of silver. That is more than three times the amount of gold found at Sutton Hoo, one of Britain's most important Anglo-Saxon sites, said the local council in Staffordshire where the latest haul was found.

It's an "incredible collection of material -- absolutely unprecedented," said Kevin Leahy, an archaeologist with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a voluntary group that records finds made by members of the public. "We've moved into new ground with this material." Because the find is so large and important, experts haven't been able to say yet how much it is worth. They hope to make a valuation within 13 months, Staffordshire Council said.

The hoard was first discovered in July by Englishman Terry Herbert, who was using a metal detector he bought more than a decade ago in a jumble sale for only a few pounds (dollars). He belongs to a local metal detecting club in Staffordshire and was just out enjoying his hobby when he made the find. There was so much gold at the site that Herbert said he was soon seeing it in his sleep. "Imagine you're at home and somebody just keeps putting money through your letterbox. That's what it was like," Herbert told Britain's Press Association. "As soon as I closed my eyes I saw gold patterns. I didn't think it was ever going to end."

Herbert found 500 items before he called in experts, who then found a further 800 articles in the soil. Officials aren't saying exactly where the gold was found, other than to say it was in Staffordshire, in north-central England. "Pieces were just literally sat at the top of the soil, at the grass," said Ian Wykes, of the county council. He said the hoard had been unearthed by recent plowing.

Most of the pieces appear to date from the 7th century, though experts can't agree on when the hoard first entered the ground, Staffordshire Council said. The pieces are almost all war gear, Leahy said. There are very few dress fittings and no feminine dress fittings; there are only two gold buckles, and they were probably used for harness armor, he said. Sword hilt fittings and pieces of helmets, all elaborately decorated, are among the more remarkable finds.

"The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship is consummate," Leahy said. "This was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good. Tiny garnets were cut to shape and set in a mass of cells to give a rich, glowing effect; it is stunning." The items belonged to the elite -- aristocracy or royalty, he said, though it's not clear who the original or final owners were, why they buried it, or when. "It looks like a collection of trophies, but it is impossible to say if the hoard was the spoils from a single battle or a long and highly successful military career," he said.

More work will help determine how the hoard came to be buried in the field, Leahy said. Many of the objects are inlaid with garnets, which Leahy called "stunning" and "as good as it gets." The filigree on the items is "incredible," he said. Some are decorated in an Anglo-Saxon style consisting of strange animals intertwined with each other. That decoration appears on what is believed to be the cheek-piece of a helmet, decorated with a frieze of running, interlaced animals.

A strip of gold bearing a Biblical inscription in Latin is one of the most significant and controversial finds, Staffordshire Council said. One expert believes the lettering dates from the 7th or early 8th centuries, but another is sure it dates from the 8th or 9th centuries. The inscription, misspelled in places, is probably from the Book of Numbers and reads: "Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua," or "Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed."

Regardless of the exact date, the hoard is certainly from a period of great turmoil, when kingdoms with tribal loyalties battled each other in a state of perpetual warfare, experts say. The land was also split along religious lines. Christianity was the principal religion, having gained ground at the expense of local pagan forms of worship, experts said. At least two crosses are among the items in the hoard. The largest is intact, though it has been folded, possibly to make it fit into a small space prior to burial, Staffordshire Council said. The folding may mean it was buried by pagans who had little respect for the Christian symbol, but it may have also been done by Christians who had taken it from someone else's shrine, experts said.

The hoard will likely help rewrite history, experts said. "Earlier finds will be looked at in the context of what we find amongst this mass of material," Leahy said. Said Leslie Webster, the former keeper of the Department of Prehistory and Europe at the British Museum, "This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England."

Excavation of the field where the hoard was found is now complete, and all items that were found are being held at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The most important objects will go on exhibit from Friday until October 13, after which they will go to the British Museum in London for valuation.

Once the items have been valued, Staffordshire Council said it hopes a selection of the pieces can go on temporary display at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. Once the hoard is sold, the market value of the find will go to Herbert and the owner of the field where the hoard was discovered. The pair have agreed to split the amount.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:15:27 AM
January 2010 - GAZA CITY, ISREAL - The Hamas-run ministry of tourism and antiquities in Gaza on Monday announced the discovery of ancient artifacts near the Egyptian border town of Rafah.

"The most important of the findings are 1,300 antique silver coins, both large and small," said Mohammed al-Agha, tourism and antiquities minister in the Islamist-run government. He said archaeologists had also uncovered a black basalt grinder, a coin with a cross etched on it, and the remains of walls and arches believed to have been built in 320 BC.

They also discovered a "mysterious" underground compartment with a blocked entrance that appeared to be a tomb, Agha said. The Palestinian Authority has been carrying out archaeological excavations since the 1990s, but this was the first major find to be announced by the Hamas-run government.

The archaeological dig, still under way, is close to where a vast network of smuggling tunnels provides a vital economic lifeline amid strict Israeli and Egyptian closures imposed after the takeover.

Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:16:01 AM
July 2010 - LONDON, ENGLAND - A treasure hunter has found about 52,500 Roman coins, one of the largest such finds ever in Britain, officials said Thursday. The hoard, which was valued at 3.3 million pounds ($5 million), includes hundreds of coins bearing the image of Marcus Aurelius Carausius, who seized power in Britain and northern France in the late third century and proclaimed himself emperor.

Dave Crisp, a treasure hunter using a metal detector, located the coins in April in a field in southwestern England, according to the Somerset County Council and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The coins were buried in a large jar about a foot (30 centimeters) deep and weighed about 160 kilograms (350 pounds) in all.

Crisp said a "funny signal" from his metal detector prompted him to start digging. "I put my hand in, pulled out a bit of clay and there was a little radial, a little bronze Roman coin — very, very small, about the size of my fingernail," Crisp said in an interview with the BBC. He recovered about 20 coins before discovering that they were in a pot, and realized he needed expert help.

"Because Mr. Crisp resisted the temptation to dig up the coins it has allowed archaeologists from Somerset County Council to carefully excavate the pot and its contents, ensuring important evidence about the circumstances of its burial was preserved," said Anna Booth, of Somerset Council. Somerset Coroner Tony Williams scheduled an inquest Thursday to formally determine whether the find is subject to the Treasure Act, a formal step toward determining a price to be paid by any institution which wishes to acquire the hoard.

The hoard is one of the largest ever found in Britain, and will reveal more about the nation's history in the third century, said Roger Bland, of the British Museum. The find includes more than 760 coins from the reign of Carausius, the Roman naval officer who seized power in 286 and ruled until he was assassinated in 293. "The late third century A.D. was a time when Britain suffered barbarian invasions, economic crises and civil wars," Bland said. "Roman rule was finally stabilized when the Emperor Diocletian formed a coalition with the Emperor Maximian, which lasted 20 years. This defeated the separatist regime which had been established in Britain by Carausius.

"This find presents us with an opportunity to put Carausius on the map. School children across the country have been studying Roman Britain for decades, but are never taught about Carausius our lost British emperor." The discovery of the Roman coins follows last year's discovery of a hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins in central England. The so-called Staffordshire Hoard included more than 1,500 objects, mostly made from gold.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:16:38 AM
July 2010 - SEBASTIAN, FLORIDA - A bounty within a bounty was discovered inside a 300-year-old bronze cannon that had been taken to a historical conservatory for study. The cannon was part of a 1715 shipwreck off the Florida coast that has been studied for some time by Gold Hound LLC, a treasure hunting group. The ship was headed to Spain when it went down in a hurricane. This latest treasure discovery is valued at $500,000.

Treasure hunters said the cannon was a find in itself, a rare bronze swivel cannon used to fend off pirate enemies on the treasure ship's journey back to King Philip V. The cannon was discovered in shallow waters - less than 15 feet deep - off of Sebastian, Florida, approximately 40 miles north of West Palm Beach. It was found alongside 22 rare gold coins.

The cannon was brought to the conservatory to preserve history, where its hidden bounty was discovered. Among the gold coins was an extremely rare 1698 Cuzco mint coin from a Peruvian mine that operated for just four months, adding to the importance and value of the coin, the news release said. Historians have struggled for decades to unearth more information about the mine, of which little is known.

The remaining gold coins appear to be primarily from Bogotá, Colombia, referred to as “Bogie 2s” for their denominations, the news release said. The silver coins, subject to further identification, likely originate from mines in Mexico and Bolivia.

The 1715 Fleet received a cargo of several million silver coins in Vera Cruz. Bolivia’s Cerro River in Potosi was the single most prolific silver producer in the world for several hundred years, the release said. The 1715 Fleet consisted of 11 Spanish galleons and war ships that sank on July 31, 1715, after they left Havana.

Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:17:10 AM
August 2010 - SEBASTIAN, FLORIDA - Sunday, 15 August 2010 was one of those days, one of those 'boring' days in Florida when the wind lays the ocean down near the Treasure Coast, and the sea is an aqua blue. Bonnie Schubert and her Mom, Jo, were back in the water after some heavy maintenance on their new salvage boat, "GOLD HAWG" ... and then they found it!

At first thought by most to be an eagle, and by some a turkey, the solid gold bird is preliminarily identified by Historian Dr. Eugene Lyon as a " Pelican in Piety"-- representing the legend of the 'mother pelican' wounding her breast to feed her young on the droplets of her own blood and used as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice.

Standing a stately 5-1/2 inches tall, the avian relic weighs 177 grams --that's without her right wing-- and she tests out at 22 karats of pure gold. In her heyday, her open torso held something, probably something ritualistic, possibly an incense container.

Through a hole in the center of her base, she may have been mounted to a pole ... or to an altar. We'll have to wait for the jury to come in with all the details on this wondrous piece. The ornate base of this statuette, on which the bird is standing, resembles a turban and displays what could be a 'Fleur-de-Lis' on the face of it.

"It was just Mom and me aboard the 'Gold Hawg' (C-11, Harold’s old number – for luck!) – I still am in shock. Didn’t think we were even going to make it out there this year, what with engine rebuild and etc." "One wing is missing, and I have been out three days searching for it – no luck there and now our fingers are crossed that we get in a few more days ... but it looks like the tropics are firing up."
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:17:40 AM
September 2010 - WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Last weekend the Western Australian gold prospectors assembled for their annual meeting at the pub in Ora Banda, a hamlet in the Western Australian outback. At the end of the meeting a nugget buyer from Perth, a guy named Andy Comas, made quite an interesting announcement: he recently acquired and sold a nugget weighing 23.26 kilogram, making it the world’s third largest gold nugget in existence (just after the Hand of Faith at 27.21 kg and the Normandy Nugget at 25.5 kg). When Andy showed a picture of the monster the bar went dead quiet. People just couldn’t take their eyes of it. This was of course what every prospector dreams of and keeps him going: the bloody big one!

The nugget had been found a couple of weeks ago with a metal detector somewhere in the goldfields around here. Through various tests it had been established that the thing has a 92% purity. With today’s gold price of around 1240 US Dollars, the gold value of this baby would be around $860,000. But of course, nuggets of that rarity go for two, three times the gold value.

Anyway, Andy said that the prospector who found it, and who wishes to remain anonymous, gave him a week to sell it. Andy sold it for an undisclosed sum within a couple of days to a buyer in the US. No Australian could come up with the money, somewhat surprising with all the filthy rich mining executives around here.

Most prospectors in the room expressed regret or even outrage that this nugget would leave the country – although no doubt they would have done the exact same thing: sell it to the highest bidder. And they even might get their wish because the story doesn’t end here. The Australian government might declare the nugget a National Treasure – and I think they should – and then Andy wouldn’t be able to export it.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:18:18 AM
October 2010 - LONDON, ENGLAND - A valuable hoard of American gold coins has been unearthed in an east London garden — one of Britain's most curious treasure finds.

Buried hoards are discovered every so often, but their Anglo-Saxon, Viking or Roman owners were themselves interred long ago. Whoever hid the 80 coins from the 19th and early 20th centuries may be alive. Why they chose the garden of a residential block in Hackney is a mystery.

Archaeologists more used to deciphering which Roman emperor is depicted on a coin have been taken aback by the find — gold $20 “Double Eagle” pieces dating from 1854 to 1913 and minted mostly in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Estimates put the value at hundreds of thousands of pounds. The coins, so large that each one weighs 33 grams, go on show at the Museum of London tomorrow.

They were uncovered by two residents who decided to do gardening with a couple of friends. A spade hit something hard. Expecting to remove a brick or a rock, they found themselves staring at glistening gold. One finder, interested in archaeology, alerted the Museum of London, which contacted the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the British Museum. Scheme head Dr Roger Bland told the Standard: “There is a huge mystery about who might have buried the coins. It's wonderful to speculate. Who buries so many gold coins?”

Today Inner North London coroner Dr Andrew Scott Reid, announcing the find, said the original owner had until next spring to come forward. The finders are remaining anonymous and the find's location is not being released to discourage false claims. An ill-gotten gain has to be possible and police records are being checked. If the coins are declared Treasure, they will become Crown property and will be valued. Hackney Museum wants to acquire them and the money paid would be split between the land owner and the finders.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:18:48 AM
November 2010 - LONDON, ENGLAND - If James Hyatt was old enough to understand the concept, his family would tell him he is blessed with beginner’s luck. The three-year-old was minutes into his first ever attempt at metal detecting when he found a gold locket potentially worth £2.5million. He had just been passed the device at a field in Hockley, Essex, when it began to buzz.

Buried 8in below was a reliquary. This is a gold container used to hold religious relics – items believed to be the remains of religious figures or objects associated with them. Experts have dated the locket to the early 16th century – the era of Henry VIII – and say it could have belonged to a member of the royal family.

The reliquary has been declared treasure trove at an inquest, meaning the proceeds of its sale will be shared between James’s family and the landowner. The sides of the reliquary are about an inch long and it is 73 per cent gold. The front is engraved with an image of the Virgin Mary clutching a cross while the back has five bleeding hearts. Only three other reliquaries of this type are known to have survived. James’s find will be valued and then offered for sale to institutions including the British Museum.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:19:24 AM
March 2011 - NEWARK, ENGLAND - A treasure hunter has found 18 Bronze Age items in a field near Newark in Nottinghamshire. Maurice Richardson stumbled across the collection, which includes four socket axes, a spear head, a chisel and a fragmented sword, by mistake. "I was on my way back to the car after being out all afternoon and wandered off the track," he said. "If I hadn't I wouldn't have found it."

This is the third major discovery Mr Richardson has made. In 2005 he dug up an ancient necklace valued at £350,000 while in 2010 he found a hoard of Roman coins. The tools were found just a foot below the surface of a farmer's field. The first things to be dug out were three of the four axes; Mr Richardson said he immediately knew what they were. The items have been confirmed by Dr Chris Robinson, an archaeological officer from Nottinghamshire County Council, as a founders hoard.

"Bronze Age metal workers tended to be itinerant. They would travel around the land plying their trade," said Dr Robinson. "Often they would bury their produce and come back for it later."

The finds will now be submitted to the Portable Antiques Scheme (PAS) so that they can be recorded. Research by Mr Richardson suggests that his latest hoard may be worth a few thousand pounds. But the tree surgeon said his hobby, which he has been doing every Saturday and Sunday afternoon for 40 years, is nothing to do with the money. "It's the interest in the local history and the buzz from handling something that is thousands of years old," he said. Mr Richardson confessed that there was no secret to his success. "It's embarrassing really. There's no recipe. It just seems to happen," he said.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:20:02 AM
March 2011 - SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - It took only two minutes of feverish bidding at a Sacramento auction Wednesday for a buyer to snatch up the biggest existing gold nugget confirmed to have been dug out of Sierra foothills Forty-Niner country. Feverish might be an understatement. The bidder had to cough up $460,000.

The Washington Nugget, which fits in one hand, weighs 8.2 pounds and would have fetched something less than its flat value of $137,744 at current gold prices, considering it has a few rock veins shooting through it. But this isn't merely meltdown gold. This chunk has a story. It was scratched out of the earth by a man wielding a pick in his backyard near the historic town of Washington (Nevada County). That means it was found in the same area where the old Forty-Niners spent their days scramblin', diggin' and wieldin' smoking six-guns in the mid-1800s in the most famous Gold Rush in American history.

Other big hunks of gold exist in museums and private collections, but none is quite like this one, California State Library historians said. If not for a few fateful twists of many shovels, the Washington Nugget might have been found 150 years ago as prospectors extracted millions of dollars worth of gold from the hills and streams around Washington. Instead, the finder pinged it with a metal detector last March.

The finder and the auctioneers have jealously guarded his name for his protection - same with the name of the man who bought the nugget. All the co-auctioneer, coin dealer Don Kagin of Tiburon, would say Wednesday was that the buyer was from "back East," and the seller was "very pleased."

Bidding on the Washington Nugget at the Golden West Auction in Sacramento started at 4:45 p.m., and the opening shot was $250,000. By 4:47 a flurry of bidders had topped each other with bids up to $400,000 - and that's where the hammer fell. The final price was $460,000, once a fee had been tacked on for Kagin and his auction partner, mining geologist Fred Holabird of Reno.

"There's a real art to these things," Kagin said. "The bidding moves at 100 miles an hour." Turns out the bidding might keep on moving. The seller was so inspired by the sale of the nugget sale that he asked Kagin afterward to sell the land where the nugget was found. It consists of 180 acres about 20 miles east of Nevada City, and assayers have already guessed there are at least 4,000 ounces of gold left to drag out of the dirt, Kagin said.

And, oh yes - the seller found two smaller nuggets when he found the whopper. Weighing 4 and 10 ounces, they sold Wednesday for $7,700 and $17,000 to a different bidder. "We'll be looking into auctioning the land after we figure a few things out," Kagin said.

Update: This nugget may have been originally found in Australia.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:20:34 AM
March 2011 - KEY WEST, FLORIDA - A deep sea diver has struck gold after unearthing a 17th century chain worth $250,000 from the ocean floor. Bill Burt, a diver for Mel Fisher's Treasures, spotted the 40-inch gold chain while looking for the wrecked Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank off the Florida Keys in a 1622 hurricane. Shipwreck experts have tentatively valued the piece at around $250,000.

The chain has 55 links, an enamelled gold cross and a two-sided engraved religious medallion featuring the Virgin Mary and a chalice. On the edges of the cross there is engraved wording thought to be in Latin. Andy Matroci, captain of Mel Fisher's Treasures salvage vessel, JB Magruder, said the crew had been diving at the North end of the Atocha trail.

On their last trip to the wreck they uncovered 22 silver coins and a cannon ball just east of the site. They had been hoping to find more coins in the area, Mr Matroci said, but instead found the chain.

'In the nine years I have been running this boat this is the most unique artifact we have brought up,' Mr Matroci said. The piece is believed to be from the Atocha's infamous treasure trove. The company has uncovered half a billion dollars in historic artefacts, gold, silver and emeralds since they began diving the wreck in 1969.

In 1985 - after 15 years of searching - the Fisher crew discovered Atocha's 'mother lode', worth more than $450 million. They unearthed thousands of artifacts, silver coins, gold coins - many in near mint condition, exquisite jewellery sets with precious stones, gold chains, disks, a variety of armaments and even seeds, which later sprouted.

They then faced a legal wrangle with the U.S. Government claimed title to the wreck. Florida state officials seized many of the items the Fisher crew had retrieved. But after eight years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Fisher's favor. The contents of the ships sterncastle - a wooden, fort-shaped area at the back of ship, have never been recovered.

This is where the wealthy passengers, including nobility and clergy, would have stayed. Fisher's estimates the treasure in the sterncastle section is worth in the region of half a billion dollars. The latest find was likely owned by a member of the clergy indicating the company's search for the missing treasure trove could be getting nearer.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:21:12 AM
June 2011 - KEY WEST, FLORIDA - A gold and emerald ring valued at half a million dollars was found Thursday in the remnants of a Spanish ship that sank off the Florida Keys in 1622. A dive team aboard the Magruder salvage ship, part of the fleet from Mel Fisher's Treasures in Key West, discovered the ring in about 30 feet of water.

The ring, which has initials engraved on it, came from the wreck of the Atocha, which sank during a hurricane nearly 400 years ago. The gold ring has a rectangular cut estimated at 10 karats.

A spokesperson said the ring's estimated value is based on the stone's 2.7- by 2.5-centimeter size and the value of other emeralds from Atocha. Also found were two silver spoons and other artifacts. A 40-inch gold rosary was found in March and a gold bar in April.

Vice president Sean Fisher, the grandson of the late Mel Fisher, was on board the salvage vessel JB Magruder when the big discovery was made at the shipwreck site of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha. The Spanish galleon was the most famous ship of a fleet that was heading to Spain when a hurricane struck in 1622. “This is the most significant artifact I have personally seen them bring out of the water,” Fisher said in a statement.

The Mel Fisher team has been recovering treasure from the Atocha for the last 40 years. The ring is the most valuable artifact found this season and is one of the more significant, valuable and beautiful artifacts from the ship.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:21:52 AM
July 2011 - MILLAU, FRANCE - A French couple have found a hoard of gold coins worth at least 100,000 euros (£89,000; $140,000) in the cellar of their home in the town of Millau. They were working on their drains when they dug up the 34 coins in a little clay pot, French media said.

The coins date from 1595 to the French Revolution, which began in 1789, said a local coin expert who evaluated them. The most valuable is a double louis from 1640, during the reign of Louis XIII, worth 6,500 euros.

The coin expert, Marc Aigouy, told AFP news agency that he offered either to buy the coins from the couple or to organise an auction on their behalf. He said if American and Japanese buyers participated, the coins could fetch at least 100,000 euros.

Mr Aigouy said the couple wish to remain anonymous but they live on rue Droite, an old Roman road which is the oldest street in Millau, in southern France. Under French law, the couple are allowed to keep the treasure because it was found on their own property, Mr Aigouy said.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:22:25 AM
July 2011 - MONTGOMERY, ENGLAND - More than 3,000 Roman coins have been discovered in a field, it has emerged. The hoard of copper alloy coins, dating from the 3rd Century, was unearthed in Montgomery, Powys, several weeks ago. About 900 were found by a member of a Welshpool metal detecting club, with the rest of the discovery made with help from archaeologists. The exact location is being kept secret to protect the site. The Powys coroner will determine whether they qualify as treasure.

Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT), which helped unearth the coins, said the discovery had the potential to reveal more about Roman life in mid Wales in the late 3rd Century. The find in Montgomery is a few miles away from where a Roman fort once stood in the village of Forden. The majority of the coins were found buried in a ceramic pot, said the trust.

The initial discovery of more than 900 coins was made by Adrian Simmons, a member of Welshpool's Oldford Force Team metal detecting club in June. He called in the trust, who excavated the site on 5 July, finding more than 2,000 coins.

Chris Martin, regional archaeologist at the trust, said: "We are very excited about this discovery and are very grateful to Mr Simmons for acting so responsibly and to the landowner for his support. "This was probably a time of considerable political and economic unrest and the coins may have been buried for safekeeping with the intention of returning for them in the future. "Unfortunately for the original owner, but happily for us, for some reason they never had the chance to recover them."

The coins were taken to the National Museum Wales in Cardiff, where an expert is writing a report. This will be passed to Powys coroner Peter Maddox, who will decide on what happens to the coins, and whether the finder is entitled to a fee if they are ruled to be treasure.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:23:05 AM
September 2011 - STIRLINGSHIRE, SCOTLAND - An Iron Age hoard of gold, unearthed by an amateur treasure hunter, has been highlighted as the major discovery of a host of "outstanding finds" from Scotland's past which have been allocated to museums over the past year. The dramatic discovery of the four golden neck ornaments - known as torcs - near Stirling has resulted in the rewards being made through Scotland's Treasure Trove Unit (TTU) leaping from just under £11,000 in 2010 to £483,702 this year.

The majority of the reward money - £462,000 - went to David Booth, the chief ranger at Blair Drummond Safari Park, who found the valuable pieces of 2,000-year-old jewellery, hailed as one of the most important hoards of Iron Age Britain. He discovered them in a field near his home, buried six inches beneath the surface, using a £240 metal detector.

The ceremonial neck pieces have already been saved for the nation and are on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Catherine Dyer, who is responsible for claiming objects for the Crown under the law of Treasure Trove as the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer, said the annual report of the TTU showed that 2011 had been an outstanding year for finds in Scotland.

She said: "The report confirms that this has been another magnificent year, with some outstanding finds being reported, preserved and displayed in breathtaking museum collections around Scotland. "Every artefact recovered tells us a story of life in Scotland through the ages." Ms Dyer added: "March 2011 saw the allocation of one of the most outstanding finds we have ever had reported - the magnificent gold Iron Age torcs found in Stirlingshire. The torcs rightly feature prominently in the list of Treasure Trove claimed for the nation and are on display in the National Museum for everyone to marvel at and enjoy.

"It is truly astounding that such beautiful items were around in Scotland so many centuries ago and further that they lay hidden, but largely undamaged, under the earth in that Stirlingshire field for so long." The treasure trove report states: "This hoard comprises the most significant discovery of Iron Age gold objects from Scotland for well over 100 years.

"Two of the torcs are 'ribbon torcs', finely twisted ornaments of a type found in Scotland and Ireland. The remaining two are far more unusual; a fragmentary torc in two pieces is of a type known to originate from south-west France, while the last piece has an unusual mixture of styles. "This last torc has a body made from braided gold wire, a common technique for torcs made in the British Isles. However, the terminals are highly unusual, decorated with beading and gold wire. This latter technique is typical of the Mediterranean."

The report reveals the torcs were among 269 finds reported to the Treasure Trove Unit. Among the other important finds, unearthed from Scotland's past and given to museums over the last year, were half of a silver penny of King William the Lion, minted during his reign in the 12th century, which was found in Prestonpans in East Lothian, and a mid-16th to early-17th century gold button found in Braco, Perth and Kinross.

One of the other more intriguing finds was a 13th century Papal Bulla of Pope Gregory IX which was found at Culross in Fife. Bulla were lead seals used to authenticate documents and communications issued from the Vatican. According to the report, the Bulla had been pierced to allow the lead seal be to converted to be worn around the neck, much like a pilgrim badge. The report states: "This is an unusual example of a mundane item of ecclesiastical bureaucracy being transformed into one of personal significance."

Other discoveries include a medieval dagger pommel, decorated on both sides with heraldic shields on both blue and red enamels, found at Blair Drummond, and a Bronze Age spearhead at Yetholm in the Borders.

Professor Ian Ralston, chairman of the Scottish archaeological finds allocation panel, said: "The objects which were allocated to museums range from the relatively everyday in terms of category of finds, but nonetheless significant, right through to the spectacular, including the Blair Drummond torcs." He added: "The panel is very pleased that those individual chance or metal-detector finds have been allocated to public museums in many communities across the country, and their public-spirited finders suitably acknowledged."

But Prof Ralston warned: "The panel remains concerned … that there seems to be serious under-reporting of casual archaeological finds from Scotland. The current decline in the number of archaeologists employed in the museum sector in Scotland seems likely to mean these issues become more acute." The report reveals that during the year the unit handled 128 claimed Treasure Trove cases. The total sum paid in respect of ex-gratia awards was £483,702. Individual payments ranged from £10 to £462,000. In four cases, the finders chose to forgo their ex-gratia awards.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:23:42 AM
March 2012 - BATH, ENGLAND - More than 30,000 Roman coins were found by archaeologists working in Bath in 2007, it has been revealed. The silver coins are believed to date from 270AD and have been described as the fifth largest UK hoard ever found.

The coins are fused together and were sent to the British Museum. Conservators are expected to take at least a year to work through them. A campaign has now been started at the Roman Baths to try to raise £150,000 to acquire and display them.

The size of the find is not as large as the Frome Hoard in April 2010 when more than 53,500 coins were discovered by metal detectorist Dave Crisp near Frome in Somerset. The coins found in this hoard date from a similar time and are thought to be the largest ever discovered in a Roman town in the UK.

Roman Baths spokesman Stephen Clews said: "We've put in a request for a formal valuation and then hope to buy the coins to display them at the baths. At the time there was a lot of unrest in the Roman Empire so there may be some explanation for why the coins were hidden away. The find is also unusual as it was discovered by professional archaeologists as opposed to an amateur using a metal detector," he added.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:24:24 AM
June 2012 - JERSEY, CHANNEL ISLANDS - After hunting for buried treasure for three decades – and not finding a great deal – even the most diligent of us might have given up. But not Reg Mead and Richard Miles. The two amateur metal detectors kept up their search of the same area throughout the decades and have finally struck gold – or rather silver. They have unearthed the largest hoard of Celtic coins ever found. Each one of the 30,000–50,000 coins is estimated to be worth around £200 each, putting the value of the haul at up to £10milion.

They are thought to be from the first century BC and were found buried 3ft deep under a hedge in a farmer’s field on Jersey. Two thousand years ago the Channel Island – which remains a popular spot to stash large sums of money – was a refuge for tribes fleeing what is now northern France from the invading Roman armies. As the legions of Julius Ceasar drew closer, the treasure is thought to have been buried by a Celtic tribe called the Coriosolitae, in the hope it could be dug up once the danger had passed. And there the coins – packed in clay and weighing a ton – have remained undisturbed until last week.

The men who discovered them, Mr Mead, 70, and Mr Miles, a customs officer in his 40s, suspected treasure was in the area three decades ago, when they heard rumours a farmer had found some silver pieces on his land. After a series of largely unsuccessful forays in the area, they unearthed a stash of 120 coins in February.

Mr Mead, a grandfather who lives with wife Ruth in St Clement, Jersey, said: ‘Richard found the first one and it was amazing – when you see him raising his hand above his head (saying) “got one”.’ The pair used a powerful metal detector known as a deepseeker to search for more treasure in the field and struck lucky last week.

‘The machine picked up a really strong signal – so we immediately got in touch with professional archaeologists,’ Mr Mead said. ‘They started digging and we could not believe how many coins there were. ‘All of them were stuck together. I have been searching for things like this since 1959 and never found anything on this scale before. ‘We had been searching that land for 30 years.’

After four days of careful digging the hoard was hauled to the surface by crane. It will now be subject of an inquest to determine ownership rights. Mr Mead added: ‘I am absolutely numb at the moment. To find one haul of coins in a lifetime is rare, but to find two is just unheard of.’ The location of the find is being kept secret.

Neil Mahrer of Jersey Heritage Museum, who helped to excavate the money, said: ‘This is the biggest Celtic coin hoard ever found which is tremendously exciting.’ The previous record find was in 1935 at La Marquanderie in Jersey when more than 11,000 were discovered.

Mr Mahrer added that the coins, which are called staters and quarter staters, weigh as much as a 50p piece. ‘All the coins are silver and a common theme is a picture of a man or god’s head on one side of the coin and a horse on the other,’ he said. ‘They are covered in green corrosion because the silver is mixed with copper and copper corrodes. But they should come up again in a good condition.’

Dr Philip de Jersey, a former Celtic coin expert at Oxford University, said: ‘The find is very significant. It will add a huge amount of new information, not just about the coins themselves, but the people who were using them.’

Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:24:55 AM
July 2012 - HERZLIYA, ISRAEL - One of the largest gold treasures ever to be discovered in Israel was uncovered last week at an archaeological dig near Herzliya. The treasure, more than 100 gold pieces and weighing approximately 400 grams (nearly one pound), is estimated at a worth of more than $100,000.

The coins were found hidden in a partly broken pottery vessel at the Appollonia National Park, where archaeologists say the former Crusader town of Apollonia-Arsuf once thrived. The dig is being carried out under the joint auspices of Tel Aviv University and the Nature and Parks Authority.

Included among the items found were 108 gold coins, including 93 that weighed four grams each, and 15 that weighed 1 gram each. The gold was not new and clearly was part of someone's family treasure or business investment. The coins were minted in Egypt approximately 250 years prior to their burial under the floor tiles of the 13th century CE fortress that has been under excavation for more than 30 years.

A large cache of arrowheads – hundreds, in fact – and other weaponry, including stones used in catapults, also was found. Archaeologists said the find indicated a fierce battle had taken place at the time the Mameluks seized the area from the Crusaders.

TAU Professor Oren Tal pointed out that the manner in which the treasure was hidden indicated its owner's intention of returning to reclaim it. "I think the stash was deliberately buried in a partly broken vessel, which was filled with sand and buried under the floor tiles so if anyone were to discover it, he would simply believe it to be a broken pot, and ignore it.”

Appollonia National Park director Haggai Yoynana added that if one were to add the treasure to the findings of the weaponry, “it tells the story of a prolonged siege and a harsh battle.” According to the website of the Biblical Archaeological Society, the clash has been identified as the Battle of Arsuf, between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart.

The Crusader fortress had been uncovered at the site some time ago, along with remains of a port city dating back to the time of the Phoenicians. Archaeologists have also found the remains of a Roman villa, a well-preserved market street from the Early Islamic period and a massive gate complex.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:25:31 AM
July 2012 - TAMPA, FLORIDA - Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., a deep-ocean exploration company, said it recovered about 48 tons of silver from a World War II shipwreck three miles (4.8 kilometers) beneath the Atlantic Ocean. The company retrieved 1,203 silver bars, or about 1.4 million ounces of the metal, from the SS Gairsoppa, a 412-foot (126-meter) British cargo ship that sank after being torpedoed by German U-boat in February 1941, Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey said today in a statement. The metal, worth $38 million at today’s prices, is being held at a secure facility in the U.K.

Odyssey said the recovered silver represents about 20 percent of the bullion that may be on board the Gairsoppa, which lies about 300 miles off the coast of Ireland. The operation, the largest and deepest recovery of precious metals from a shipwreck, should be completed in the third quarter, Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey said.

“With the shipwreck lying approximately three miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, this was a complex operation,” Greg Stemm, Odyssey chief executive officer, said in the statement. “Our success on the Gairsoppa marks the beginning of a new paradigm for Odyssey in which we expect modern shipwreck projects will complement our archaeological shipwreck excavations.”

The recovery began in May using a chartered 291-foot ship after a series of reconnaissance dives earlier in the year, the company said. Odyssey last year announced plans to recover another 600,000 ounces of silver from the SS Mantola, a British vessel sunk by a German submarine in 1917, which lies about 100 miles from the the Gairsoppa. Odyssey has salvage contracts with the U.K. allowing it to retain 80 percent of the net silver value recovered.
Title: Re: Detected treasure stories
Post by: ebuyc on December 18, 2012, 05:26:03 AM
October 2012 - HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND - A novice treasure hunter who bought a basic metal detector returned to the shop in shock weeks later, clutching part of the country's finest ever hoard of Late Roman gold coins. The man stunned staff by showing them 40 gold Solidi, before asking them: "What do I do with this?" They contacted local experts and together got the permits they needed, headed back to the scene and pulled up another 119 gleaming pieces.

David Sewell, the lucky shopkeeper who joined the second search party, said: "It’s a staggering thing. We sold this guy an entry-level machine and he went off and pulled off one of the largest ever hoards of Late Roman gold coins. We believe it’s the second largest. He came up with approximately 40 coins to start with. He came to see us and we looked at it and thought: Is this a stunt? I’ve heard in the past that the general reaction with things like this is that people are terrified. They don’t know what they (the artefacts) mean."

They advised the man to get in touch with the local finds liaison officer and armed with a JCB they went to the woodlands spot near St Albans, Hertfordshire, and continued the work. Mr Sewell, who founded metal detecting shop Hidden History with Mark Becher in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, last year, said: "We went with them and took with us a couple of slightly more potent machines and we pulled 119 more coins out of the ground. "These are 22 carat gold, they haven’t got any damage and they came out of the ground looking like the day they were made. All I can say is I was there and my heart was going at 10 to the dozen."

The man had bought a Garrett Ace 150, retailing at around £135 and described as being ideal for children to use for a hobby. Local heritage officials described the find as "a nationally significant find." The coins are a rare example of the Solidus, dating from the last days of Roman rule in Britain. The last consignments of them reached these shores in 408AD. Officials refused to identify the exact site of the discovery or the landowner to stop others from trying to cash in. They also would not name the person who found them, who could profit from a share of the proceeds from the coins.

A spokesman for St Albans City and District Council said: "A nationally significant find of 159 Late Roman gold coins has been found by a metal detectorist on private land in the north of the district of St Albans, in Hertfordshire. Local museum staff, together with Hidden History, travelled to the rural site to confirm the find. "Evidence suggests that the hoard was disturbed in the last couple of hundred years due to quarrying activity or plough action," said the spokesman. Mr Sewell said the coins were found across about 15 metres of woodland. It is believed that the area was used during the Second World War to cultivate crops and it may be then that the coins were shifted. "The interesting thing is there were no other artefacts there at all, no brooches," said Mr Sewell. "Oddly there was no vessel at all to hold them. It is quite a significant stash and I’m surprised that it would have been in an organic holder."

The council has now referred the hoard to experts at the British Museum to investigate and prepare a report for the local coroner. They will also determine the value of the coins, which could fetch anything from £400 to £1,000 apiece. The coroner will then determine whether the hoard counts as treasure.

David Thorold, curator of the prehistory to medieval section at the Verulamium Museum, in St Albans, said: "Gold Solidi were extremely valuable coins and were not traded or exchanged on a regular basis. They would have been used for large transactions such as buying land, or goods by the shipload. The gold coins in the economy guaranteed the value of all the silver and especially the bronze coins in circulation. However, must people would not have had regular access to them. Typically, the wealthy Roman elite, merchants or soldiers receiving bulk pay were the recipients."

Mr Sewell, who resumed detecting three years ago after a 36-year gap, has himself found a number of items, including a rare silver Tealby Penny. He said: "I’ve found bits and pieces but nothing like this. I’ve got immense satisfaction that the guy came to us and bought the machine from us but I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish it had been me. It beggars belief. Thanks to things like Time Team people’s interest in archaeology has really taken off. You do have the possibility to change history."