Treasure Hunters/Tomb Raiders

cardinaluk

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#1
Hi,

About 9-10 years ago I visited a rather unusual household while helping my father with his Reprographics business. We were delivering a Photocopier and it was a two man job to carry the machine into th customers detached semi-rural house.

After setting up the copier and drinking tea I remember the man becoming enthusiastic about showing us his collection of historic items.
He led us into a room which had a 7 foot by 5 foot safe door bolted into the wall. He opened it and inside was a small room filled with boxes, drawers and objects under drapes.

One of the objects he pulled out and showed us was allegedly William Joyce's (Lord Haw Haw) dental bridge remains. This was in a box with a last will and testament.
He then showed Albert Pierrpoint's Noose and Bag which he had documents which allegedly proved they were the real deal. He went on to describe the very noose had killed many in the Belsten Trial including high up officers from Auschwitz.

He then carefully showed us a flat vacuum sealed container looking very much like a futuristic picture frame. Inside this was a very old looking embroidered cloth. I don't remember much about this particular piece apart from certain keywords Richard the Lionheart and Crusades, so it was allegedly from that time.

He had many other items in his collection some items which he wasn't eager to show us which could have in my opinion either been illegal, stolen, dangerous or just not interesting.

The bloke was obviously a treasure hunter and was eager to show his wares but I was suspicious that he was showing us a possible treasure trove of items. We could have been burglars! Or people who knew burglars!
Despite this I do think who would actually want this stuff? Are items like that valuable? Or are they just valuable to a treasure hunter? Is it treasure? What would anyone do with a Tapestry made during the Crusades? How much would a museum pay for something like that? Does it belong to the queen? :}

Anyway my story told, has anyone ever experienced anyone with a fascinating secret or a treasure?!
 

McAvennie

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#2
Sounds interesting, but rather curious, as, as you say, you could have been criminals or mentioned to criminals about the haul. Although if it was in a safe may have been hard to get!

Putting aside the curiousness of his openness to show you the goods it may well be he was just a rich eccentric, or that a lot of the items had been passed down through the family and he was just proud to show off his stuff.

As someone who suffers from collectomania I can assure you that what may look like tat to some people can be very highly valued by others. I'm sure to him it must be a great delight to own a Crusades era hankie.

Perhaps one day when I'm old I will eagerly be showing a delivery man my Panini albums of the early 80s and 98% complete set of Rothmans Football Yearbooks with glowing pride.

I'd be interested to know what the things he wasn't so keen to show were. Did you get any kind of glimpse at anything you thought might have been of interest?
 

cardinaluk

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#3
The majority of the collection possibly could have been documents of sorts as he had a lot of drawers and things that looked like they stored flat objects.

Perhaps he had the real copy of The Bill of Rights or the real Dead Sea Scrolls.
We could have been undercover Neo Knights Templar looking for the Holy Grail and he would have exposed his secret showing us his hoard.

We weren't though.
 
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#4
India: Treasure unearthed in Kerala temple
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13994351
By Ashraf Padanna
Kochi

The temple was built in the 16th Century by the kings of Travancore
Treasure, thought to be worth billions of rupees, has been unearthed from secret underground chambers in a temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Precious stones, gold and silver are among valuables found at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.

The riches are thought to have been languishing in the temple vaults for more than a century, interred by the Maharajahs of Travancore over time.

They have not been officially valued and inspectors are taking an inventory.

Inspectors say they will continue cataloguing the treasure for at least one more week.

Unofficial estimates say that the treasure discovered so far over four days of inspections may be valued at more than 25 billion rupees ($500m). But historians say that assessing the true value of these objects is likely to be extremely difficult.

Security has been stepped up at the temple: "I have instructed the police chief to reinforce security further following the findings and it would be there permanently," Oomen Chandy, the state's chief minister, said.

Concealed riches
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple was built in the 16th Century by the kings who ruled over the then kingdom of Travancore. Local legends say the Travancore kings sealed immense riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple.


The current Maharajah of Travancore has been the managing trustee of the temple
Since Independence, the temple has been controlled by a trust run by the descendants of the Travancore royal family. After 1947 the kingdom of Travancore merged with the princely state of Cochin, which eventually became the present-day state of Kerala.

The inspections at the temple began after India's Supreme Court appointed a seven-member panel to enter and assess the value of the objects stored in its cellars, including two chambers last thought to have been opened about 130 years ago.

The Supreme Court also endorsed a ruling by the high court in Kerala, which ordered the state government to take over the temple and its assets from the royal trust. It also ordered the trust to hand over responsibility for the temple's security to the police.

The initial court petition was brought by a local lawyer, Sundar Rajan, who filed a case in the Kerala High Court demanding the takeover of the temple, saying that the current controllers were incapable of protecting the wealth of the temple because it did not have its own security force.

Anand Padmanaban, counsel for Sundar Rajan, was present when observers appointed by the Supreme Court opened the treasure chambers.

"Treasures included very old gold chains, diamonds and precious stones which cannot be valued in terms of money," he told the BBC Tamil service.

"Many of those things were pretty old, going back to the 18th Century. They could not count it, so they are weighing it."

Only two of four chambers had been opened so far, he said.

Royal wealth?
The current Maharajah of Travancore, Uthradan Thirunaal Marthanda Varma, who is also the managing trustee of the temple, appealed to the Supreme Court against Sundar Rajan's petition.

He said that as Maharajah he had every right to control the temple because of a special law enacted after Independence, which vested the management of the temple with the erstwhile ruler of Travancore.

But his appeal was rejected - Maharajahs have no special status in India and they are treated like ordinary citizens.

The members of the Travancore royal family consider themselves to be servants of the presiding deity at the temple, Padmanabhaswamy, which is an aspect of the Hindu God Vishnu in eternal sleep. This is why they historically entrusted their wealth to the temple.

But there was a public outcry when the Maharajah attempted to retain control of the temple by citing the special law, with many arguing that the wealth belonged to the people now.

The vaults were opened in the presence of the panel, and observers, which include high court judges, temple officials, archaeology authorities, Sundar Rajan and a representative of the current Maharajah.
 
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#5
India temple treasure search team suspends their search
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14018892
By Ashraf Padanna
Kochi

Security has been tightened outside the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
Inspectors unearthing priceless treasures from a South Indian temple have had to halt their search because the final vault cannot be opened.

Five vaults replete with precious stones, gold and silver have already been opened in Kerala state's Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.

The haul's value is now thought to have risen from 25 billion rupees ($500m) to 900 billion rupees ($20.3bn).

Historians say assessing the treasure's true value will be very difficult.

The goods have not been officially valued and inspectors are merely taking an inventory.

The inspectors managed to open the outer doors of the sixth vault but found an iron wall inside it. The vault was last opened 136 years ago, according to temple records.

NM Krishnan, a retired judge who heads a seven-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court to open the chambers and prepare an inventory, said the decision on when to open the sixth vault would be taken on Friday after apprising the Supreme Court of the progress made in cataloguing treasures so far.

"There are some technical problems [in opening the sixth vault]," he said. "We'll discuss all aspects of it at the meeting... on Friday."

Mr Krishnan said "more expertise" was needed before the vault is opened.

The riches are thought to have been languishing in the temple vaults for more than a century, interred by the Maharajahs of Travancore over time.

Concealed riches
Meanwhile, security has been stepped up at the temple but police have refused to divulge exact details because they say it would make the treasure more "vulnerable".

The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple was built in the 16th Century by the kings who ruled over the then kingdom of Travancore. Local legends say the Travancore kings sealed immense riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple.


A panel has been formed to make an inventory of the treasures
Since independence from Britain, the temple has been controlled by a trust run by the descendants of the Travancore royal family. After 1947 the kingdom of Travancore merged with the princely state of Cochin, which eventually became the present-day state of Kerala.

The inspections at the temple began after India's Supreme Court appointed the seven-member panel to enter and assess the value of the objects stored in its cellars.

The Supreme Court endorsed a ruling by the high court in Kerala, which ordered the state government to take over the temple and its assets from the royal trust. It also ordered the trust to hand over responsibility for the temple's security to the police.

The members of the Travancore royal family consider themselves to be servants of the presiding deity at the temple, Padmanabhaswamy, which is an aspect of the Hindu God Vishnu in eternal sleep. This is why they historically entrusted their wealth to the temple.

But there was a public outcry when the Maharajah attempted to retain control of the temple by citing the special law, with many arguing that the wealth belonged to the people now.

The vaults were opened in the presence of the panel, and observers, which include high court judges, temple officials, archaeology authorities, Sundar Rajan and a representative of the current Maharajah.
 
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#6
India temple 'ritual' over treasure inspection
By Ashraf Padanna
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14440300

Much more treasure is believed to still lie undiscovered in the temple vaults

Related Stories

India temple treasure finder dies
The feisty Indian kings and their temple treasure
Security plan for treasure temple

Hindu priests have begun a ritual to "find out the divine opinion" about inspection of priceless treasures unearthed from a temple in India.

A panel of experts appointed by the Supreme Court is carrying out the inspection at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in the southern state of Kerala.

The temple vaults contained a huge collection of precious stones, gold and silver worth millions of dollars.

Five of the vaults have been opened and the contents itemised.

A sixth and more secure vault remains closed while officials determine how best to keep the items safe.

Last week, a section of devotees protested when the experts began the inspection, saying that "god will become angry".

The Hindu priests say they will begin a three-day-long "astrological ritual" to "discern the will of god or a deity" about the inspection.

Descendants of the Travancore royal family, who look after the temple, wanted the ritual to be conducted before the sixth vault was opened.

They said there was a "sign of a serpent" on the wall of the vault which "indicates that it is not auspicious to open it".

The court has asked the experts to examine this claim.

It is not clear whether the "astrological ritual" will bring the inspection to a halt.

Atheists have protested the move saying it was an "affront to the court and one that defies logic".

"The descendants of the royal family will submit the conclusions of the ritual to the court which is governed by India's secular laws. We have to know what the symbol on the temple vault means," historian MG Sashibhusan said.

Local legend has long held that vast riches were interred in the walls and vaults of the temple by the Maharajas of Travancore over many years.

Historians say it is almost impossible to assess the value of the objects, but officials have said it could be more than £12bn ($20bn).

Neither the state of Kerala nor the descendants of the Travancore royal family have made any claim on the treasure, which they say is the property of the temple and its deity.

But the discovery has sparked a public debate, with many believing the items should be put in museums or sold and the profits used for public good.

Security has since been stepped up at the temple, which is now one of the richest in the world.
 

rynner2

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#7
Duchy of Cornwall metal detecting fee upsets enthusiasts

Plans to charge people for metal detecting on the foreshore of Duchy of Cornwall beaches have raised concerns among enthusiasts.
The Duchy estate has previously not allowed metal detecting in these parts of the county.
The organisation said it was responding to increasing calls from metal detectorists to permit their hobby on Duchy land.
But the treasure seekers claim a charge is unfair and would be unworkable.

The Duchy said the plans to allow metal detecting on the county's foreshores, the area of land between low and high water, were still in their infancy.
The estate said it planned to charge £60 for an annual permit but Cornish archaelologist Jonathan Clemes said: "People could just be walking the beach and finding these things without a detector. There shouldn't be a charge.
"You get people who go fishing on these beaches all day and you don't charge them, and how are you going to police it?"

Veteran detectorist Mick Turrell organises group expeditions and owns a shop which sells the detector devices.
He is puzzled about why he should pay to explore Duchy land, which is owned by the Prince of Wales, when exploring Crown estate land, owned by the Queen, is free.
He said: "Our problem is people are thinking of going on holiday. They have a choice; they can go and detect on the beaches on Crown estate land for free.
"If they come to Cornwall they have to decide if they can afford it because it is a lot of money they will have to pay out. They are rightfully upset about it."

A Duchy of Cornwall spokesperson said it was also issuing a holiday licence for £20, valid for up to two weeks, which would be aimed at families and individuals staying only a short time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-15787978

The rule on Treasure (formerly 'Treasure Trove') that applies on land is that the value of the find is usually split between Landowner and finder. If this also applies on the foreshore, then it seems that the Duchy is having its cake and eating it too! If the detectoists find nothing, then the Duchy has their search fee. But if treasure is found, then the Duchy gets a cut of that! :shock:

But the law is not easy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_t ... _and_Wales

Any dectorists here?
 
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#8
The Tomb Raiders got there first but the tombs are of a rare variety.

Tomb raiders spoil Philippine archaeological find
September 21st, 2012 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

A photo released by Philippine National Museaum (PNM) shows archaeologists working on a limestone coffin in Mulanay town, Quezon province, southeast of Manila. Philippine archaeologists said they had discovered a thousand-year old cemetery of rock coffins in a rainforest, but that tomb-raiders had found it decades earlier and stolen precious artefacts.
Philippine archaeologists said Friday they had discovered a thousand-year old cemetery of rock coffins in a rainforest, but that tomb-raiders had found it decades earlier and stolen precious artefacts.

The coffins are rectangular holes carved into a limestone hill, a burial method documented only in two other areas of eastern Asia, the leader of the National Museum's archaeological dig, Eusebio Dizon, told AFP.

Dizon said local officials informed the museum last year about the site, in a forest about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Manila.

"(But) treasure hunters had been there before, in the 1960s and the 1970s, and a little bit in the 1980s," Dizon said.
"They would have taken metal and other implements to be sold, and thrown away the human remains since they had no use for them.
"
Forest rangers have since secured the site, on the top of a hill called Kamhantik, which is near a coconut plantation, according to Dizon.

A photo released by Mulanay tourism office (MTO) shows a limestone coffin, one of many unearthed in Quezon province, southeast of Manila. The coffins are rectangular holes carved into a limestone hill, a burial method documented only in two other areas of eastern Asia.

He said his team had cleaned at least 10 mostly empty coffins, measuring two metres (6 feet, six inches) long, 50 centimetres (20 inches) wide and about 40 centimetres (16 inches) deep.

Fragments of human remains from one coffin were sent to a university in the United States for carbon-dating, which confirmed the site as a 10th-century settlement, he said.

More moss-covered coffins were found within the 12-hectare (30-acre) area of forest, and they will be excavated when funds become available, according to Dizon.

"There could be more items, artefacts showing how they lived," Dizon said.
Dizon could not say if the rock-coffin people were migrants or long-time residents who had learned the coffin-carving from outsiders.

Similar stone coffins had also been found in Gilimanuk in the Indonesian tourist island of Bali and some parts of Taiwan, he said.

But in both cases other types of rocks were used, with the Gilimanuk finds made of volcanic material, he added.

In the Philippine graves, Dizon said the community was believed to have used metal tools, maybe iron, to carve the holes into the limestone.
Other 10th-century residents of the islands used earthen jars and wood as coffins, he said.

The team also found evidence of houses being built atop the limestone.
Most of the known human settlements in the islands at the time were on the coasts, but the Kamhantik find was about six kilometres (three miles) inland, he said.

(c) 2012 AFP

"Tomb raiders spoil Philippine archaeological find." September 21st, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-tomb-raide ... gical.html
 

cardinaluk

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#9
Found this

I found this on Jamelist.com:

jameslist.com/collectibles/memorabilia/albert-pierrepoint-hangman-memorabilia-collection-508777
Link is dead. No archived version available.


Looks like they havent got the noose. I know who has!
T
 
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#10
China: Ancient coffin 'rescued' from tomb raiders
News from Elsewhere....
...as found by BBC Monitoring
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from ... e-26576609

The opened coffin in Xilin Hot

The grave contained the silk-wrapped body of a woman

Chinese archaeologists have "rescued" an ancient coffin from tomb raiders trying to break in to a grave site via a 10m (33ft) hole, it appears.

The 1,500-year-old, pinewood coffin was found in a tomb in pasture land in the northern Inner Mongolian region and dates from the Northern Wei Dynasty between the years 386-535 AD, the China Daily newspaper reports. Inside, scientists found the remains of what appears to be an aristocratic woman, wearing silk clothing, fur boots and a metal headband.

The well-preserved remains will enable archaeologists to study the funeral customs of the Xianbei nomadic groups who lived in northern China at that time, experts told Chinese media. Hair samples will also allow forensic analysis of the woman's age and diet. The area appears to be an important burial site for aristocrats of that period.

Illegal excavations of ancient grave sites has been a persistent problem in China. There have even been reports of tomb raiders using explosives to access historical treasures.

Archaeologists examine the coffin at Xilin Gol league museum in China's Inner Mongolia

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.
 

uair01

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#11
From here: http://marginalrevolution.com/margi...marginalrevolution/feed+(Marginal+Revolution)

Ray Lopez August 27, 2016 at 8:14 am

... That said, for special cases like in mine where I’m presently in Athens, Greece doing forensic accounting to figure out where my going-senile uncle stashed his millions of euro (cash, yes he withdrew ALL of his money from banks a few years ago, and I found some, as did the part-time domestic help), a monthly mailed statement would be a plus. Do you know how long it takes for Greek banks to give you historical statements for an account? A letter from a lawyer, then 1 month (quickest) to six months wait, after a review from the Greek banks legal staff to see if your request is proper (already one bank has rejected my lawyer’s request for bank statements on a technicality; you have to fight for your consumer rights in Greece). Unreal. And $40 Euro per account per year. If you have several dozen accounts, as my uncle has, over many years, the money adds up.

I’m praying to see in my uncle’s mailbox, year end, a statement from some Swiss bank that I don’t know about, but sadly I doubt my uncle had the wherewithal to stash his money in a Swiss bank. I found most of the money under a coffee table, an obvious place in the bedroom, and literally under a mattress. Places a senile old man would store money.

I think I got most of it. There’s a persistent rumor from several sources that my auntie (who passed away recently and was ‘in charge’ while she was alive and my uncle was senile–and she never told my family anything was amiss) had Italian gold “lira” coins, a lot of them, but I can’t find any. Either the part-time domestic help found them (this guy had keys to nearly all rooms, except a few where I found money), or, it’s buried someplace. I have a metal detector (illegal in Greece) and might go prospecting for it, but I doubt my aunt, being old, buried it. I recently found a note indicating where she hid money, in her handwriting, indicating she was also losing her memory, and when I searched these places it was clear they had already been searched by the domestic help.

Anyway, don’t cry for me too much, I found enough money that it’s equivalent to what I would have saved in twenty years, and I was making low six figures when I was working. Working is overrated compared to a treasure hunt.
 

Tribble

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#14
A glacier lake which emerged in Turkey’s northeastern Gümüşhane province in the course of at least 12,000 years has been wiped off the map by an excavation triggered by an urban myth.

The Fathomless Lake’s water was drained after the governorship’s office in Gümüşhane allowed for an excavation work on Nov. 9.

The permission was given upon an application by an anonymous citizen claiming that the treasure of an ancient Roman legionary was at the bottom of the lake.


http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-fathomless-lake-wiped-out-of-map-in-treasure-hunting-148703
 

Kondoru

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#16
Oh that deceased story reminds me.

A neighbour of a friend died suddenly, and no one could find their money (they invested in gold)

But the distant relatives who cleared out his flat chucked all his clothes...and its suspected the cash was in that.

Given he was a keen outdoorsman with good togs they should have put the clothes on Ebay...

...Too bad.
 

Mythopoeika

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#17
Oh that deceased story reminds me.

A neighbour of a friend died suddenly, and no one could find their money (they invested in gold)

But the distant relatives who cleared out his flat chucked all his clothes...and its suspected the cash was in that.

Given he was a keen outdoorsman with good togs they should have put the clothes on Ebay...

...Too bad.
Did anyone think to check the curtains? Gold coins could have been sewn in as ballast.
 
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