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Author Topic: Detected treasure stories  (Read 26271 times)

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Offline ebuyc

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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2012, 05:21:12 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2012, 05:21:52 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2012, 05:22:25 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2012, 05:23:05 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2012, 05:23:42 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2012, 05:24:24 AM »
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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.’


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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2012, 05:24:55 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2012, 05:25:31 AM »
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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.
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Re: Detected treasure stories
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2012, 05:26:03 AM »
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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."
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