Hidden Jewel of a Treasure Hunting Book

There are crappy treasure hunting books, and there are great treasure hunting books. However, there are few awesome treasure hunting books.  I have found an extraordinary one, and wish to share.

Written in 1933, somewhere in Great Britain, this tome clearly represented a lifetime of passionate research. At first, I believed it was a PhD thesis on the history of treasure troving in the UK. Then I came to realize it was too broad for a thesis, but simply the work of a passionate and focused man who was very academic in his research delving deep into dusty libraries to extract glimpses of past trovers.

The book is The Romance of Treasure Troves, by Charles R Beard, 1933, 372p.

He has chapters on the re-curring themes in treasure legends, such as the Norse legends of dragons guarding treasure hoards (Bear in mind this was before Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings!) and of the sustaining belief that “gold was thought to be concealed in the the heart of every burrow”1

There are chapters on treasure hunters during the middle ages, and on trovers during the sixteenth century. And he paints them into context of the times and places of the era, full of references and tantalizing leads to books 200, 300, and even 900 years out of print.

Then the references to the hundreds of roman and ancient hoards that have been ploughed up over the centuries and the history behind each one as best as can be proscribed.

A damn fine read, dense and delicious. Great for a rainy day or mid winter.

1 The Romance of Treasure Troves, Beard, p34

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Historical US Coastal Survey Charts

NOAA’s US Coast Survey Historical Maps

The coastline of the US is important to both shipping and defense. Because of this, the government commissioned charts made of the US coasts. These have now fallen into the hands of the NOAA and they have been scanned.

These charts show nautical items, but also will show where cities, towns, and villages are on the coast line. In some cases, they even draw the location of buildings on the beach areas.

You can find this wonderful deep web resource at http://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/historicals/search


These charts typically cover from 1800 – to current times. There is no guarantee that your local area may be covered, but if you are on the east coast you will have older maps available.

The NOAA archives contain not just the US Coast Survey but other nautical charts as well, like charts around China, Puerto Rico, and the Northwest. Some in the 1700’s. These charts are much larger scale and do not have the refinement of small features like buildings.

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WW2 Aircraft Treasure Found

Hats off to David Cundall, who clearly did good research and vetted sources to find over a dozen buried war surplus Spitfires buried in Burma by Allied troops! Well done!


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US Treasure Trove Law

There is a well written and heavily cited document on US treasure trove law produced by John Kleeberg.  You can find a copy for your files over at deep-web.org which is a Deep Web research site.

You can download your copy of the Treasure Trove Law here



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Treasure Lead Generation pages added

Research is a critical part of treasure hunting, but you need a lead to start your research in earnest. So I’ve put up a bit about where to get initial leads, and then the research can begin.

Treasure Lead Generation

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Treasure Hunting Research Book Coming

There is a big need for a comprehensive that teaches solid research techniques for the treasure hunter.  I mean, there is a lot of crap out there, and there are a lot of people who believe that crap.  The intermediate to advanced treasure hunter should really have the ability to vet these stories for themselves and make a conclusion based on empirical evidence and supported research. But from what I’ve seen, they aren’t. There is so little critical thinking being done on forums like TreasureNet.com, that I am appalled by the silliness of some arguments. Hopefully, a research guide will bring some of these folks into the light.

So I’m currently finishing a book on how to do proper, through and academically defendable treasure hunting research from start to finish. It should be out by Christmas of 2012. Because it is a niche market,o it will be published via Amazon’s CreateSpace.

The beginner is in a little better shape. He may have gotten a detector for his birthday or Christmas and perhaps a book with it. Most books are coming out of RAM publishing or another major press. These beginner books, in general, have fairly good advice of ‘go research to find old places to hunt’. Which quickly sinks in, I think.

But for budding intermediate detectorists and treasure hunters, there is a painful shortage of documented research techniques. It is now my intent to fill this need with a comprehensive book on treasure hunting research methods and techniques.


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Treasure Hunting Book Reviews are finally up

There are so few good reviews of treasure books by treasure hunters, that I’ve opted to put my collection up and a review on each.

Treasure Hunting Book Reviews

If anyone has good reviews they would like added, just put a comment on the page, and I’ll copy and paste your review and credit your name.

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Treasure Hunting Research launched

One area of treasure hunting that is in bad need of more publicity is the need for research. So few know how to go about doing proper research, and of those few, none are stepping forward with the mission to education young metal detectectorists and treasure hunters.

Good research for treasure leads at some point lead to a libraryAt this point, we’re launching the Treasure Hunting Research website to bring forward tips and techniques on how to do proper research. It will cover many aspects of research from obtaining initial leads, to vetting unknown authors, to the cost of your time.

As I’ve given several workshops on treasure hunting research, I intend to write a easy-to-understand book on research in 2012.


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