Ancient Treasure Hunting
Treasure Hunting is an old and well known profession. Going back thousands of years, there is evidence of treasure hunters looting the ancient pyramids in Egypt. There are records of treasure hunters in ancient times. Further, there is documentation that Abdullah Al Mamun, a caliph of Baghdad, burrowed into the great pyramid in 820 AD (Secrets of the Great Pyramid by Tompkins, p5-16) seeking treasure.
Throughout history, you will find other tales of men who chase the tantalizing dream of easy wealth. Ignoring the hard facts that there is a great deal of effort required to obtain “Free Money”.
Modern Treasure Hunting
In our current times, there are wonderful new tools and techniques for treasure hunting. We have available to us VLF detectors, pulse induction detectors, sidescan sonar, and brilliantly simple tool called mailboxes. Combined, these have revolutionized treasure hunting from being a downright foolish endeavor to a reasonably speculative investment. Still, it is not a low risk proposition.
In modern times, treasure hunting falls into two major categories: Land and Water.
Land based treasure hunting is seeking anything of value on land. Like metal detecting coins, hunting for arrowheads, or searching for prized movie props from a classic film. Note that land based treasure hunting does not always involve seeking for money or precious metals, but that which has value. Either financial or emotional value.
The development of metal detectors has greatly improved the success of searching for metal based artifacts and coins. The major manufacturers of detectors, namely Whites Electronics and Garrett, have both promoted the hobby use of detectors so that there is now a large class of amateur treasure hunters. Interestingly, these hobbyist are quite content to spend $1000 to find $250. By the same token, they have changed the image of treasure hunting from a semi-nefarious shady business to being perceived as a quirky hobby. (I’m sure this is a PhD thesis waiting to be written)
With the advent of SCUBA gear, underwater treasures have become a very attractive target of treasure hunting. In fact there is now a publicly listed company, Odyssey Exploration, that has recovered many shipwrecks such as the USS Central America.
Hobbyist with SCUBA gear have also managed to find and salvage minor wrecks in the great lakes, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. However, there are federal and state laws that must be obeyed before attempting any recovery. Admiralty law encompasses salvage rights and should be addressed by the savors with the appropriate government regulators.
Treasure Hunting Requires Research
No matter which category a treasure hunter picks, good research is needed. Only through good and thorough treasure research have major treasure discoveries been found by treasure hunters.