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TOPIC: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists

Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11203

  • wreckdiver
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Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists

By Tommy Vawter

In the US where a handful of elite academic archaeologist and state legislatures are slowly eroding our rights to treasure hunt and metal detect by making it a crime to recover anything over 50 years old. Many parts of the world seem to be a little more realistic.

I have long been a proponent of treasure hunters and archaeologist working together when it comes to sites that may or may not be of archaeological significance. I even created this website in part to help facilitate the concept of cooperation between our two communities. However, the elitest academic world of archaeology will have none of that.

On the other hand, there is much support for cooperation among the rank and file archaeological community, and there are even some of them that are members here at TreasureWorks. Unfortunately, I have been told privately that they fear going public because they know that they would never be allowed to work in their chosen profession.

Let’s face it; most archaeologists are just treasure hunters with a degree in archaeology. They fund there expeditions through research grants generated by universities, and by publishing their successes in the form of papers and books.

Most treasure hunters are hobbyists who enjoy the outdoors and the thrill of the hunt. These are the folks who often make significant find mostly by chance. We see many cases of this happening in the UK, where there is a system in place to profit from their discoveries, and that also allows archaeologists to further excavate the sites, creating a win, win situation for all parties. Yet in states like Florida and Texas this can land you in jail.

On the other end of the spectrum are the professional treasure hunters, operations like Odyssey Marine that are well funded and have professional archaeologist doing outstanding archaeology on the payroll. Yet the academic community vilifies Odyssey every day of the week because they sell some artifacts to cover the cost of doing business. Just how many Pieces of Eight and Gold Doubloons does an archaeologist need to study and place in the basement of a museum (or there private collection)?

Then we come to the independent treasure hunters. I would guess that would include me and many of my friends here at TreasureWorks. We are normally not very well funded and can’t afford to hire a full time archaeologist. So after hundreds of hours of research we accidently on purpose stumble across a major archaeological site and have expended thousands of our own hard earned cash just to get here.

Today there is no incentive for us to report discoveries that may be of archaeological importance in the US, as a result most folks just keep these finds secret and the cultural history and context of the finds are lost to the world forever. After all, it was within our own generation that archaeologist and universities were buying and selling artifacts to museums and private collectors to fund their own projects. Dare I use the word “Hypocrisy”.

There are many locations around the world we do have some other options. Many of these options would include the ability to work with professional archaeologists and foreign governments in a profit sharing plan between the government and the independent treasure hunters, which at the same time would allow for proper archaeological oversight and study.

As long as the elitist academic archaeological community continues to portray treasure hunters as looters, grave robbers, thieves and organized criminals, nothing will change. Expressing a willingness to work with treasure hunters to achieve the common goal of recovering the past is the only path to fully protecting the past for future generations.

OK, I'm done with my rant for the day...
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11205

G'morning my friend: can't touch anything over 50 years?? Ya mean I can't clean up some of my old exploration campsites?

Actually the vilifying is basically eliminating competiton for increasingly less financing - i.e, money, competition.

"JOB SECURITY"

An example, there so many sunken ships of all periods located to keep Marine Archoloegst workng for a century or so, yet they are crying for more protection?? Logical ? ;)

Don Jose de La Mancha

;)
Last Edit: 6 years 8 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11209

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Tommy, you are correct in every way.

As someone who has been harassed for years by Archaeologists, even now with my popular website, because they know I am someone who has a very large following, and influence within the hobby, there is not a week that goes by where I do not get a threat, or at least a derogatory comment made against me. And during the past decade, I have done everything I could by reaching out to them, by offering my time to work with them.

However, there is one Archaeologist, a very well known Professor at a distinguished University who was behind me 100% when I was filming, and who actually did not speak very highly of many of his peers.

If you would like his name, or you need advise in the future please feel free to email and I will pass on his name. Out of courtesy, I do not want to post his name in this forum.

Thanks
Frank

www.metal-detecting-ghost-towns-of-the-east.com
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11210

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I agree whole-heartedly with everything you said Tommy. I personally think it is also important to note that while saying most archaeologists are just degree holding treasure hunters, most "treasure hunters" are non-degree holding archaeologists just the same. The elitist among the archaeologists always said "you aren't an archaeologist, show me something you have published". I wonder what their excuse would be now.... This image is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11212

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:laugh: At 50 years old I can not even recover some of my own "lost" items. My cousin lost her gold neclace when she was 16 at a local swimming hole. Under that law I can not go get it for her. She is 67 now so that puts her necklace over 50. :laugh: Bet me! We have reciently gotten permission from the current property owner to attempt to recover her necklace and when summer gets here and we can get the time we are going to try to find it. She was swimming at a public beach now owned as a private home. We wrote the owner and she gave us permission to look for the neclace and anything else we find. The beach was a local swimming hole for near sixty years before we started using it when we were kids. I wonder what other goodies remain lost in the dark waters of the creek? Do we need an archaeologist to go along with us? :laugh: Right, just hold your breath! :woohoo: :S
Count your Blessings but Remember your Dreams!
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11219

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wreckdiver wrote:
Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists

By Tommy Vawter

In the US where a handful of elite academic archaeologist and state legislatures are slowly eroding our rights to treasure hunt and metal detect by making it a crime to recover anything over 50 years old. Many parts of the world seem to be a little more realistic.

I have long been a proponent of treasure hunters and archaeologist working together when it comes to sites that may or may not be of archaeological significance. I even created this website in part to help facilitate the concept of cooperation between our two communities. However, the elitest academic world of archaeology will have none of that.

On the other hand, there is much support for cooperation among the rank and file archaeological community, and there are even some of them that are members here at TreasureWorks. Unfortunately, I have been told privately that they fear going public because they know that they would never be allowed to work in their chosen profession.

Let’s face it; most archaeologists are just treasure hunters with a degree in archaeology. They fund there expeditions through research grants generated by universities, and by publishing their successes in the form of papers and books.

Most treasure hunters are hobbyists who enjoy the outdoors and the thrill of the hunt. These are the folks who often make significant find mostly by chance. We see many cases of this happening in the UK, where there is a system in place to profit from their discoveries, and that also allows archaeologists to further excavate the sites, creating a win, win situation for all parties. Yet in states like Florida and Texas this can land you in jail.

On the other end of the spectrum are the professional treasure hunters, operations like Odyssey Marine that are well funded and have professional archaeologist doing outstanding archaeology on the payroll. Yet the academic community vilifies Odyssey every day of the week because they sell some artifacts to cover the cost of doing business. Just how many Pieces of Eight and Gold Doubloons does an archaeologist need to study and place in the basement of a museum (or there private collection)?

Then we come to the independent treasure hunters. I would guess that would include me and many of my friends here at TreasureWorks. We are normally not very well funded and can’t afford to hire a full time archaeologist. So after hundreds of hours of research we accidently on purpose stumble across a major archaeological site and have expended thousands of our own hard earned cash just to get here.

Today there is no incentive for us to report discoveries that may be of archaeological importance in the US, as a result most folks just keep these finds secret and the cultural history and context of the finds are lost to the world forever. After all, it was within our own generation that archaeologist and universities were buying and selling artifacts to museums and private collectors to fund their own projects. Dare I use the word “Hypocrisy”.

There are many locations around the world we do have some other options. Many of these options would include the ability to work with professional archaeologists and foreign governments in a profit sharing plan between the government and the independent treasure hunters, which at the same time would allow for proper archaeological oversight and study.

As long as the elitist academic archaeological community continues to portray treasure hunters as looters, grave robbers, thieves and organized criminals, nothing will change. Expressing a willingness to work with treasure hunters to achieve the common goal of recovering the past is the only path to fully protecting the past for future generations.


OK, I'm done with my rant for the day...


Amen, Tommy!!
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11237

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"As long as the elitist academic archaeological community continues to portray treasure hunters as looters, grave robbers, thieves and organized criminals, nothing will change."

Taken from the training pages of Saul Alinsky...
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11243

At one time the scientists were trying to stop the meteorite hunters from selling and making a profit on their finds.

Then it was pointed out that 99% of the discovered meteorites were from private individuals and without them the scientists would have very few to study.

Archeologists and scientists can be a weird and elite group . They sometimes express the same traits as dictators and totalitarians. They think we are unwashed peasants.

Just to tickle your fancy ..... remember that most meteorites are worth a lot more $$ than gold per ounce .

Hope you find one.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 8 months ago #11328

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I agree Tommy
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11728

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Just to prove my point, please read the following article that appeared last month in a Florida newspaper, The Bradenton Times, and when you do remember that it was just over a year ago that the Florida DHR tried to sneak through some bad legislation see Florida's War on Treasure Hunters. Fortunately that bill was pulled just in the nick of time. Do not be surprised if they try that same crap again.



Guest OP/ED: Florida's Artifacts are not Just Objects

Published Monday, April 11, 2011 2:10 am

by Jeff Moates and Deborah R. Mullins
As Floridians who are also professional archaeologists, we found The Bradenton Times: Sunday Favorites column titled, “In Search of the Missing Link: a Look into the Underworld of Artifact Hunting,” disappointing to say the least. The underworld of artifact collecting that Tim and Jake participate in is destructive, dangerous, opportunistic, greedy and criminal.

We do, however, relate to Tim and Jake’s beyond-the-average level of interest in artifacts. All archaeologists (and many many non-archaeologists) can connect on some level to the drive to discover and understand mysteries. From the places we have seen and the places we have been told about all of our lives, we know that the Florida outback is like no other place. Couple our state’s beautiful environment with a prospect for discovery and adventure and it is easy to get hooked for the long haul on the study of Florida’s past.

We understand the privilege of recovering artifacts in a very different way than Tim and Jake. We are both of the opinion that artifacts are much much more than single objects. We believe that we can speak on behalf of all archaeologists and informed avocationalist (non-professional volunteers and supporters) when we say that artifacts are NOT JUST OBJECTS, they represent pieces of a large and complex puzzle that allow a scientific study of the past and of the Floridians who have traversed and prospered across this state for thousands of years.

Technically, an “artifact” can be anything from a sharpened stone or a manipulated whelk shell, to butchered animal bones, to pieces of pottery, or to evidence for burned or decayed structures such as wooden posts or building foundations. The shortsighted motives associated with looting and collecting stop at the thing itself—it stops at the arrowhead or it stops with a broken fragment of pottery. Looting does not look beyond the object to the knowledge and traditions that went in to the construction, use, loss, or burial of that object.

The looting of archaeological sites also leaves behind a wake of irreparable damage. It is crucial that all of us understand that once an archaeological resource is destroyed in a non-systematic way, it can never be remade. As we noted above, what an artifact truly is—and who or what it represents and why that is important—can only be understood through careful research that combines scientific methodologies and humanities based questions. It is often said that beauty is in the details. For archaeologists, it is in these details that the true nature of an artifact can inform us about the past.

An important component of our individual service in archeology is public outreach and volunteerism. Each of us has been fortunate enough to have opportunities to speak with people across the state about the remarkable archaeological resources in Florida. These conversations invariably involve speaking with folks about the fragile nature of these resources and how they might be appropriately maintained, explored, and serve as something of value in the lives of present-day Floridians. There are many opportunities across Florida for individuals looking to gain more specific knowledge about our state’s past. And these opportunities will be, in our opinion, much more fulfilling undertakings than slinking about in the cover of darkness and sleeping in a fox hole ‘til morning.

For example, the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) is a statewide organization founded in 1947 and which currently includes 13 local chapters covering Florida from the Panhandle to the Keys. Each FAS chapter is voluntarily run and funded by individuals that have a respect for the history of our state and who share the opinion that the past should be learned from and shared. The Tampa Bay area is fit with a couple of dynamic and energetic FAS Chapters (Time Sifters Archaeology Society (www.timesifters.org/) and Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society (www.cgcas.org/) that are easily accessible if any reader might wish to learn more and possibly participate.

Florida is certainly big country. Evidence suggests that people have occupied this peninsula for 12,000 years. Not coincidentally, today we look to occupy the same areas that many earlier inhabitants once did. Because of this, loss of archaeological sites is expected. However, national leaders made a clear statement in 1966 with the adoption of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) that the past is important and is worthy of our preservation and protection. Similarly, Florida leaders adopted a comparable law a few years later under the Florida Historical Resources Act (Ch. 267 of the Florida Statutes).

This effort has permeated at the level of local government through required attention to historic and archaeological preservation in comprehensive plans. Sixty of Florida’s 471 units of local government have gone a step further and implemented specific historic preservation ordinances. Manatee County, unfortunately, is not among that list of sixty. However a local effort is underway to encourage elected officials and policy leaders that preserving the past is an effective tool in future growth management and historic neighborhood revitalization. Adoption of the ordinance is also affirmation of the county’s commitment to historic preservation.

Lastly, it would be erroneous in this financial climate not to mention the economic impact and ramifications that will result from not practicing good stewardship of our cultural heritage. Getting down to brass tacks, it is a plain and simple fact that heritage-based tourism is BIG business in Florida. In 2008, it brought 4.2 billion dollars into state revenue. In the same year, it created over 100,000 jobs. Nearly half of the visitors to Florida that were surveyed reported that they stopped at an archaeological or heritage site while here; Florida is not just theme parks and beaches.

Collectors like the individuals described in “Missing Link” are potentially cutting into that future revenue stream and it is up to all of us to be stewards of our cultural heritage and to regularly remind our elected officials that we desire the same commitment from them. More importantly however, when we lose our cultural resources, whether via looting or mismanagement, what we are really losing is part of ourselves. These losses trespass into our sense of place, they mindlessly dig into a Florida that belongs to all of us, and they steal away invaluable and intangible connections to our ancient and recent history that many modern Floridians (and visitors) take a great deal of pride in.

About the Authors
Jeff Moates is a longtime resident of Manatee County and Director of West Central Regional Center, Florida Public Archaeology Network, which is hosted by the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Deborah R. Mullins is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida and also serves as Co-Editor of The Florida Anthropologist, an archaeology-focused journal founded in 1947. Deborah can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11731

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I know it varies from state to state. And some groups are either pro or con regarding detecting and relic hunting.

I joined the local historical society and did some detecting for the president. This turned into getting invited to an archaeological survey where I used my detector to find relics for the archaeologists.

I was invited back the next day and brought other club members. Over the course of the summer we found thousands of relics. And the archaeologists were thrilled. Hopefully we will be going back soon on a more involved dig.

Working with them has benefited our club greatly, and we got to hunt several "off limits" locations. There are opportunities out there, get in while you can.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11740

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I too once had the misconception that the archaeological and treasure salvage communities could work together in a harmonious and mutually beneficial manner. I went to Ecuador to recover, not search for, possibly the world's largest treasure cache.

A quarter of a century past I attempted to deal with the archaeological community in Ecuador in order to recover a lost Inca Treasure Deposit in that country. Even with a million dollar letter of credit to fund the project, and the backing of the Ministry of Defense and Presidential Palace, the archaeologists within the Institute of Patrimony and Culture did everything possible to hinder the legally established process.

It was my opinion at the time that due to the lack of resources within the archaeological community that a commercial recovery with private funding, under the purview, direction and established archaeological procedures, would be a win/win situation for all parties. The situation existed where archaeological treasures could be recovered and preserved under existing law and my company would stand to profit along with the country. However, the archaeological community took the position that "the treasure has been lost/hidden for 500 years, it might take another 500 years, but one day we will find it on our own"!

Sadly this reasoning has become the norm worldwide, or even worse, the archaeological community sits back and allows you to conduct the research and recovery at your expense, swooping in afterwards claiming "sovereign immunity" such as the recent case of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes! As the lawyers argued in that case: "From an archaeological and historical standpoint, shipwrecks (or any treasures for that matter) will no longer be properly documented, recovered and conserved."

PS... I am the author of "Lust For Inca Gold" (ISBN 13:978-1480049253) in which the above referenced topics are more thoroughly explained.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11741

G'evening my friend, coffee? The thing that impressed me the most in the review of the book were the pictures of you 'in shorts'. while in the Jungle.

Many have considered me crazy for saying that we cut off our levis at the knees after only one day in the true Yucatan / Quintana Roo Jungle. l learned quickly the hard way.

Watching solid swarms of various insects happily crawling up on the outside of your pant legs in the light from your campfire, is enough to give one the screaming willies.

As for experience with Gov't departments and archies, I am fully behind your statements. This, despite being close friends with Archaeologists. Inter department jealousy also plays a part.

If they want my information, they will have to play my game, which gives them full authority on all matters on archaeology, etc., I am to have first rights on the use of all documents which are in the closed room, and we split whatever we find in the deposit.-- well one can dream no?

Don Jose de La Mancha





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Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11755

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Don Jose de La Mancha,

I see from your comment you must have discovered the webpage about my book on:
www.squidoo.com/why-i-wrote-a-book

To clarify, I never conducted a project within the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador, the picture of me in shorts in the jungle was taken when I was merely 23 (1978), on my first visit to Ecuador as a tourist. So, on that short day trip on the river and into the humid jungle, yes I wore shorts. You are right, not the appropriate clothing for a jungle expedition!

My project in Ecuador was many years later from mid-1986 through mid-1988. My company was sent to the Patrimony Institute by the Minister of Defense and President, in addition we had hired an Ecuadorian archeaologist to create the recovery plan and oversee the project. When we hired the archeaologist, the individual was warned by the archeaological community that if they signed on to our project, it would be a long time before they were allowed to work again in the country, but that is another story ...

The problem has become, how many archealogical treasures are being lost forever due to these policies? An atmosphere has been created where if anyone discovers any precious metals artifacts, they are going to be melted down and destroyed just as they were by the Spaniards.

Steven J. Charbonneau
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11756

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Boomer I am always happy to hear the there are some places in the world that treasure hunters and archaeologists are developing good working relationships as this creates a win / win situation for all involved. It also gives me hope that someday this will become the norm instead of the exception.

Ivcharb, welcome aboard TreasureWorks! It’s good to have yet another accomplished author amongst us. You mention commercial recovery as an alternative to the normal institutional funding used today. The UK has been one location that we have seen a definite rise in commercial archaeological companies. This is due primarily to construction regulations requiring archaeological surveys for any new construction. Of course, traditional academic archaeology does not have the assets to support anything on this scale, so the need has been filled by the private sector.
While this is no way the norm, it is interesting to note that this type of activity is indeed on the rise, and through the natural course of evolution, due primarily to the world economic situation. I believe that we are seeing the first fundamental stages that may very well change the current face of institutional archaeology.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11762

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That's a good rant Tommy, I feel the same way.

Much of our turmoil in the Americas I believe is the current population for some part is of different ancestry than the ancient peoples, most especially in the US region. Much of that change happened in less than polite circumstance leading to more sensitivity to any dig being just another grab and run.

Any black marks are much harder for the academic community to weather leading them to push the stance of just say no, while people in the field are meeting and working with the better class of hunters like Boomer's club, and see the benefits but can't risk ostracism by bucking status quo.

In Europe the culture has been reasonably stable for over a thousand years comparetively. That coupled with the sheer wealth of modernized artifacts (worked metal etc.) lets them be a little more relaxed. I agree it's a much better system than what I see here in the states, at least looking from here.

I'm altruistic enough to hope some solution can be worked out and jaded enough not to expect to much.
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Re: Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 6 years 7 months ago #11767

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lvcharb wrote:
The problem has become, how many archealogical treasures are being lost forever due to these policies? An atmosphere has been created where if anyone discovers any precious metals artifacts, they are going to be melted down and destroyed just as they were by the Spaniards.

Steven J. Charbonneau

Steve, since you are new to the site I am not sure how much of my writings (rants) you have had a chance to read yet. So at the risk of repeating myself, I'm always happy to rant a little more on the subject :evil:

I could not agree with you more on your quote above. However, I would like to add that it is oh so much more than just the shiny metallic artifacts that are to be lost do to the mentality of the elite academic community and international treaties like the 1970 UNESCO treaty.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support the protection of historical resources by all the nations that have signed onto the UNESCO band wagon. I am also very much opposed to the wholesale looting of artifacts from archaeologically sensitive arias. However, I don't think that it was very well thought out from the word go, and all you do good-er archaeologists, beware the unintended consequences of your actions.

They have now created a situation that has only taken, not only the black market trade of illicit antiquities deeper underground, but also many legitimate antiquities with little or no province, and thus ensuring that the world will not ever see these works of art. They will all eventually end up in the hands of private collectors and will be for their eyes only. Or even worse, destroyed because someone is afraid they will be arrested by the international antiquities police.

I think they would have much better served their cause by taking all the resources they expended on this useless treaty and just hired security to protect these historic cultural assets that are still being looted today. But no, lets make criminals out of the museum curators and antiquities dealers instead.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists 4 years 1 month ago #16176

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The following Blog post recently appeared in the Spanish blog world ABC.es, and it got me thinking about this thread I started a couple of years back. Along with this blog about the wreck of the San Jose down here in Panama I have been reading reports about the Spanish Government possibly taking legal action towards the State of Florida and the many old Spanish wrecks in US waters. More on this a little later,

The Kingdom of Spain I guess is feeling a little cocky after there victory over Odyssey Marine in the legal battle of the Mercedes, where Odyssey was forced to hand over a half Billion dollars worth of treasure legally recovered from international waters off the coast of Portugal. In that case, if it had not been for the Wiki leaks scandal, we would have never known the extent that our own government under then Secretary of State Clinton, was willing to violate clear International Salvage Law in a secret deal to recover a famous painting lost during WWII for an alleged campaign supporter.

So here is the blog post, and as you read this, especially my friends in Florida keep in mind that the treasure hunters in Florida are most likely next up in this battle.



SOS Panamanian civil society from IMDI treasure hunters and treasure hunters Florida cartel.
by José María Lancho

Whenever I see on a page on the Internet, increasingly, it can be read in several languages and with the option of meeting Spanish flag of Mexico, I find something exciting and legitimate. At least the leadership culture in the Hispanic is for those who earn it. In Mexico underwater heritage it has proved much more technical, legal and political sense than our own government. But this time, the largest flag, which links to a correct translation of the living identity that binds us, should be to Panama.

Panamanian civil society has stood up alone to treasure hunting on Hispanic galleons in the waters of that country. In particular against the company IMDI (Isthmus Marine Research, SA) and all connection with the cartel Florida treasure hunters, that in situations that contradicted any national or international law, came commercially exploiting remains -at least- the galleon San Jose. Panamanian citizens were those which allowed me to document the looting and accomplice - spoiled by previous administrations that country, with silence from ours on a common historical heritage. Indeed, the looting of San Jose in the waters of the first State signed the UNESCO Convention, was an open secret. But we could report it to the scientific community in the IKUWA Congress in Cartagena (Spain) in a precisely known paper "Towards a common Hispanic underwater cultural heritage". It was also the first case of looting that was denounced before the world of culture in a Hay Festival and finally, thanks again to the daily ABC, it was from the pages of this newspaper. So, our country also wanted to develop state action but forcing the sense of UNESCO, sent a representation to the treasure hunters responded challenging not only flaunting commercial removal from the country, but much of the looting Panama bringing an even bigger boat: Sea Reaper III.

But although the administration of our country cast a bone to the press here still did not get much. Those who did not give up were the unsung heroes of the civil society of Panama who got involve legal, cultural and political sectors of both countries. We know that these people may be at risk by the type of networks that are after the plundering galleons and back with the treasure hunters from Florida cartel by which, strangely, the Spanish state has ever faced (we speak of Fisher and a large group of families, companies and foundations that even despised Odyssey by use of high technology to plunder, because for them it was enough the use of "mailboxes", ie "traditional arts" looting and destruction of archaeological sites of Hispanic origin) who get that Spanish law does not bind even our senior officials. Interesting…

The determination of the Panamanian citizenship has served the legal circumstances under Panamanian law, IMDI own company were reviewed. In that sense, this lawyer has witnessed the huge effort made by those citizens of Panama, and addressed the problem of treasure hunters from all possible perspectives. Those people have the greatest cultural, ethical and civic to the "Hispanic" expression dignity and deserve greater recognition, including consideration for the very Prince of Asturias, making the Comptroller General of the Republic of Panama denounced, from the legality Panamanian and after a thorough technical analysis, the activities of treasure hunters.

As scoop quote the Note No. 2126-15-LEG of August 19, 2015 Office of the Comptroller General of Colombia that has been addressed has welcomed by the Directorate General of the National Institute of Culture, notably on August 24, which are the they should now take direct action against treasure hunters.

"We ask you, based on Article 62 of Law 38 of July 31, 2000, informally revoke the permission granted by Resolution No. 136-13 of the National Heritage of July 16, 2013, and any act by which it had extended the duration of the permit, given that, in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of Law 14-1982, it should be granted through a contract signed by the Director of the National Institute of Culture and the dealer must have the favorable opinion of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and be approved by the Comptroller General of the Republic, budgets that were not met by the National Institute of Culture, who for that reason issued that license unrivaled for it.

In the event that the National Directorate of Historical Heritage of the National Institute of Culture unofficially not revoke Resolution No. 136-13 DNPH of July 16, 2013, as well as any act by which had spread its duration, the Comptroller General of the Republic shall exercise the appropriate legal action in exercise of the power under Article 280 (paragraph 7) of the Constitution and Article 11 (paragraph 8) of Law 32 of November 8, 1984.

Moreover, it is timely to remind you that any acts of disposal, alienation, allotment or transfer of property that is recovered and saved the seabed should be subject to endorsement by the Comptroller General of the Republic, so that our institution, in exercise of the audit function, determine if such acts of allocation of public funds or assets meet the requirements of the law, in accordance with the provisions contained in Article 280 (paragraph 2) of the Constitution, developed by Articles 11 , 45 and 48 of Law 32 of 1984, among other laws. "

This resolution should have immediate consequences and the sooner and powerful reinforcement from Spain and the rest of the Hispanic community, including the United States, against a practice that we trust will end up being assimilated a form of modern piracy. It is essential now that the authorities of Government of Panama are consistent (and invite in this regard, the authorities of the Kingdom of Spain, its officials of the Foreign, Justice and since then authorities involved Cultural Affairs) and pursued not only interruption of any new activity on the wreck, but the confiscation and recovery of historical assets that necessarily been obtained irregularly-certainly since 2013- not only from the Spanish right, but from the Panamanian law be encouraged, and which they are in the hands of those responsible for IMDI with intent to sell them. Europe should never be more than the market for this type of remains.

Interestingly, the Sea Reaper III sailed from Columbus (in the Caribbean) on August 24, the same day as Banff National Institute of Culture (INAC) received the above note of the Comptroller.

Pace unless the ship was sailing toward the United States and stopped in Port Antonio, Jamaica with no apparent sense. We fear, we expressed this in terms of assumptions, necessary given the treasure hunter activity on a historic ship that still would show the quality of warship that have sought a remote place and opaque Jamaica to download the so-called treasure.

It is time not to leave only to those citizens of the universal and Hispanic culture, as has so often been done with so many unsung heroes, at least in this field of heritage, and they do still have a decent sense feel Hispanic in the difficult this way of this humanity.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
Last Edit: 4 years 1 month ago by wreckdiver.
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