Monday, 20 May 2013 06:04
Conservation Arrowheads seized in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation… (Fish and Wildlife)
By Eloísa Ruano González, Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - Treasure hunters have long pilfered arrowheads, pottery and other archaeological artifacts on state lands, risking jail time if caught.
But a loophole in state law meant that looters didn't face consequences for their thievery on Lake County Water Authority lands. That protection may be about to end.
Legislators in their recently concluded session approved a bill that makes it a crime to pilfer historical finds on water-authority lands. Looters on lands of the two water authorities affected — Lake's and the Toho Water Authority in Osceola — could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine under the legislation, which will be sent to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.
"It finally gives us the ability to prosecute people who come to public lands to archaeologically loot," said Mike Perry, Lake County Water Authority executive director. "It gives all our properties the same protection state lands enjoy."
Thursday, 16 May 2013 09:59
By David Self Newlin
SALT LAKE CITY — Gold may be beautiful, elegant, and extremely valuable, but the process for extracting it is nasty, poisonous, expensive and inefficient.
But science is full of serendipity, moments of accidental discovery like finding penicillin hiding in plain sight in a petri dish. Zhichang Liu, a post doctorate at Northwestern University, had just such a moment in the lab when he accidentally discovered a new method for extracting gold in a totally green way.
Liu was intending to build nanocubes to store gasses and large molecules. But what he ended up getting when he mixed cornstarch, gold and a potassium-bromide compound was needles.
"Initially, I was disappointed when my experiment didn't produce cubes, but when I saw the needles, I got excited," Liu said. "I wanted to learn more about the composition of these needles."
It turns out, the needles were composed of gold nanowires, leading to the possibility that the process could be repeated, scaled up and produce a method for extracting gold that is cheap, effective and non-toxic. And it is very specific for gold, excluding other chemically similar elements like platinum and palladium.
Currently, gold is extracted using extremely poisonous cyanide salts and gasses. It leaves behind difficult-to-clean waste that stays in the environment for quite some time.
However, Liu's new method uses alpha-cyclodextrin, a cyclic sugar with six glucose molecules. That, plus the potassium-bromine compound, are easy to clean. It can extract gold from raw sources or from gold scraps, meaning it could find a use in recycling consumer electronics.
"The elimination of cyanide from the gold industry is of the utmost importance environmentally," said Sir Fraser Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "We have replaced nasty reagents with a cheap, biologically friendly material derived from starch."
Courtesy: KSL TV
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Monday, 11 March 2013 20:55
By Tommy Vawter
Most of us involved in the world of treasure hunting have heard about the multi-millionaire Art Collector who told the world that he has hidden a treasure chest worth Millions of Dollars out in the mountains of New Mexico, and aptly named it Fenn’s Treasure.
When I first heard the story a few weeks ago I made a conscious decision not to cover the story here at TreasureWorks.com for many of the same reasons that I don’t cover Geo Caching and a lot of other stories that come across my desk. Primarily I didn’t really consider it treasure hunting in the true sense of the words. Additionally, I thought it may have just been some type of publicity stunt to sell books or whatever.
Today I read an article on the COLORADO PLATEAU ARCHAEOLOGICAL ALLIANCE website that caused me to reconsider my decision to leave the story in the reject pile.
In an article published on the website with the headline “Don’t go looking for Fenn’s treasure. It’s illegal. And you may end up like this woman.” The author proceeds to say “what Fenn’s doing on his own land is perfectly legal. Under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, it is illegal to hunt for artifacts on public land. Same goes for site damage — you push over a rock wall, and you’re committing a felony.”
The author subsequently links the very next paragraph “and that’s another crime” to a Bureau of Land Management News Release dated back in 2009 about a group of 24 people who were arrested in Utah and charged with the looting of Native American grave sites. If memory serves me correctly one of them was an archaeologist, and there were also several deaths and suicides in that case that were directly attributable to the Department of Interiors heavy handed tactics and SWAT raids on the residences. But that’s another story for another day.
As many of you know, nothing gets my ire up faster than self-righteous academic archaeological types that automatically target treasure hunters as thieves and destroyers of cultural heritage. When, in fact the opposite is true. The simple fact of the matter, as I have stated repeatedly in my writings on this subject, is that the vast majority of both professional and amateur treasure hunters would prefer to work with the archaeological community so as to preserve any cultural heritage that we encounter along the way. The trouble is that the academic types just want to stop us all and outlaw metal detecting and treasure hunting because we are for profit operations.
The reality of this situation is that these left thinking professors don’t need to worry about us treasure hunters disturbing any archaeological sensitive arias; we already know the rules that are in place. It’s the hordes of unemployed folks in our country that don’t have a clue about treasure hunting / archaeology, and are only concerned with a chance to strike it rich and put more than beans on the table for their families.
So instead of attacking the Treasure Hunting community, I would think that these people would be better served trying to educate the general public about archaeological sites on public lands, not the public on archaeological lands.
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Wednesday, 14 November 2012 06:20
JUPITER, FLORIDA - Much like a box of buried treasure brought up from the depths of the ocean, the Shipwreck Bar & Grille in Jupiter is fascinating patrons with its extravagant nautical décor, museum-like displays and delicious menu.
The new family-friendly establishment on old Dixie Highway is a testament to the fearlessness of the treasure hunter and a tribute to a famed shipwreck in the waters off Jupiter Inlet Cove.
The Spanish galleon San Miguel de Archangel sunk in 1659, on its way from South America to Spain, as a ferocious storm churned through the Atlantic off the east coast of Florida. Of the crew of more than 100, a total of 33 survived.
The ship – and some of its salty sailors – are brought back to life in the restaurant’s spacious two-level dining-room area, where they peer from the upper deck of the ship and protect diners from pesky pirates.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 08:56
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Water Ventures International, Inc. (the "Company") (OTCBB:BWVI) today announced the long awaited launch of Phase II of its operations and plans for its 2013 season exploration of shipwrecks on the east coast of Florida and several sites in Central America. Additionally, the Company is exploring the feasibility of additional projects in Caribbean waters, including the Bahamas and Dominican Republic. The Company is currently acquiring additional vessels and has assembled skilled crews to pursue these projects. Its mission is to locate and recover artifacts and treasure from historic sunken ships, whose cargos offer vast material, intellectual, and social rewards.
About Blue Water Ventures International
BWVI is a historic shipwreck research and recovery company that locates and recovers lost treasures dated from pre-colonial times to our recent past. During Phase I of its operations, it has recovered historical treasure and artifacts from the 1622 Spanish fleet carried by the galleon Nuestra Santa Margarita, that succumbed to hurricane force winds off the coast of Key West, Florida. The Company located treasure from the Santa Margarita using state of the art technology and recovered an estimated $16 million in gold, silver and natural pearls along its widely dispersed shipwreck trail. After splitting the treasure with its joint venture partner, the Company values its portion of this treasure at $6+ million.
CEO, Keith Webb stated that becoming a publicly traded company and the combined aspects of a successful 2013 dive season is exactly what we at BWVI have envisioned.
A portion of the Margarita treasure can be viewed at our website: www.BWVINT.com.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 14:42
Since this past Saturday, TreasureWorks.com has been reporting on the unconscionable destruction of the Mayan Temple Noh Mul, located in northern Belize. Then you start hearing reports from archaeologists in the field that this is a fairly common event in Belize. Well, just when you thought that you had heard the worst about the loss of irreplaceable historic cultural assets.
Earlier today I was contacted by Archaeologist Gary Ziegler who has been working down in Peru with yet another story concerning the destruction of ancient ruins.
By Gary Ziegler
1) Revisit Machu Picchu to evaluate new Ministry of Culture policies in place, the current effect of tourism and obtain additional photography for the Ziegler Malville book focusing on Inca astronomy, symbolism and sacred geography to be published in September.
2) Revisit Choquequirao and associated Inca sites. Collect additional data and photography for the book. Evaluate access routes and effects of increased tourism.
The Team: Steve Bein, Lillian Roberts, Joy Collins, Ken Mick, Ken Greenwood, Amanda Stouffer, Edwin Duenas, Paolo Greer, Gary Ziegler.
Saturday, 02 March 2013 13:44
By Tommy Vawter
The headlines in the small Central American country of Belize this week read “No More Mayan Artifacts Thefts - U.S. and Belize Sign MOU”. Finally we can rest at night knowing that our governments have put an end to this problem for once and all.
In September of 2011, the Government of Belize, concerned that its cultural heritage was in jeopardy from pillage, made a request to the Government of the United States under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention. Belize's request sought U.S. import restrictions on archaeological material from Belize representing its Pre-Colombian heritage dating from (9000 B.C.) through the Spanish Colonial period (A.D. 1798).
On Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 The Honorable Jose Manuel Heredia, Belize Minister of Tourism and Culture, signed into effect the bilateral agreement between the governments of the United States and Belize under the 1970 UNESCO convention. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) places import restrictions on Pre-Columbian archaeological and Colonial-period artifacts from Belize entering the US. Similar bilateral agreements have already been in place between the US and Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Belize was the last unwilling loophole for illegal antiquities smuggling in the Maya region, for many years small time smugglers involved in the illicit trade of Mayan Artifacts have used this small nation on the Caribbean as a way point in the movement of artifacts from the rest of Central America and Mexico simply because they knew that they could escape prosecution in the US if they were caught.
So all is now well with the world and there will be no more theft of artifacts and destruction of archaeological sites in the Maya world. While government officials and archaeologists are sipping Champagne, eating Caviar and congratulating themselves on a job well done, some are standing in the corner of the room having intense discussions on the next step of confiscation and repatriation of artifacts from museums and private collections from around the globe.
Meanwhile, in the dark of night at clandestine airstrips throughout Central America, small aircraft either owned or stolen by drug cartels from South America and Mexico are quietly slipping into archaeological rich locations. The aircraft, many already loaded with Cocaine from Columbia are being met by trucks filled with Mayan artifacts, also headed for the hungry markets of Europe and the United States.
The cartels and their agents are able to pay top dollar, between $100 and $500 per artifact depending on the quality and the demand for that particular item. In turn, they are able to collect between $10,000 and $100,000 for these artifacts on the international black market.
Saturday, 24 March 2012 16:31
By Ute Junker
Are you ready for an Indiana Jones-style adventure? Remote locations, vanished cultures, searing deserts and ancient canyons, all with a side serve of buried treasure or mystical insight: what more can you ask from a holiday? These six destinations offer as many thrills as you can handle, as shown by our special rating system. One hat is suitable for adventure novices; three hats are perfect for the most intrepid explorers. Grab your bullwhip and get ready for a wild ride.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 08:38
Jules Vasquez reporting
BELIZE - Noh Mul. it’s name means the Big Hill but it’s not so big any more, this once towering and stout ceremonial center in San Jose/San Pablo has been whittled down to a narrow core by excavators and bulldozers. Whodunnit? Contractors who’re using the rich gravel and limestone content to fill roads in nearby Douglas Village.
Now, this was the main temple, the ceremonial center for Noh Mul, at about 20 meters among the tallest buildings in Northern Belize - and it’s not centuries old, it’s millennia, thousands of years old and the thought that it’s rich limestone bricks cut with stone tools in the BC era, the thought that this could be used for road fill is a manifest outrage and a particularly painful one for these Archeologists who were called out to the area today. We were there when they first arrived and got their initial emotional reaction:
Dr. Allan Moore - Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology
"This is one of the largest buildings in Northern Belize. I am appalled! I was hoping that when I was driving up from the main San Juan road that it would not be this one but when I got closer I couldn't believe it when I saw all the trucks. This is an incredible destruction."
Dr. John Morris - Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology
"This is one of the worst that I have seen in my entire 25 years of Archaeology in Belize. We can't salvage what has happened out here - it is an incredible display of ignorance. I am appalled and don't know what to say at this particular moment."
Friday, 26 April 2013 07:46
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff
PORTLAND, Maine — More than a year after Portland-based treasure hunter Greg Brooks announced he was on the verge of salvaging $3 billion in precious metals from the shipwreck of the World War II-era British freighter Port Nicholson, his team remains a frustrating distance from holding that bounty.
“We know that this stuff is on board and it’s frustrating not to be able to go down and just grab it,” Brooks told the Bangor Daily News Wednesday. “It’s right there. It’s 650 feet to 700 feet under us.”
Over the past 14 months, Brooks and his Sub Sea Research LLC have seen at least two proposed partnerships fizzle with underwater robotics makers — whose equipment is necessary to break into the sunken ship’s steel hull and, if there is platinum and gold inside, bring the heavy weight to the surface.
Additionally, Brooks said, he’s facing renewed enthusiasm for claiming ownership by the British government, which he believes aims to strip him of his rights to what would be a record shipwreck treasure.
It hasn’t all been bad news, however.
Along the way, the Maine captain said his team has uncovered additional evidence proving the legitimacy of his claims that the Port Nicholson was carrying a top secret shipment of precious metals, and he now believes a new agreement with the high-profile machinists at the Waterboro-based Howe & Howe Technologies will provide him with robotic equipment capable of finishing the job.
Co-owners Mike and Geoff Howe shot into the public view with their now-famous Ripsaw unmanned U.S. Army tank and a 2010 reality show on the Discovery Channel, and have stayed in the limelight with prominent appearances of their gear in Hollywood blockbusters, including this spring’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”
Brooks, who said a year ago he’d already emptied a $6 million budget for the project and acknowledged Wednesday he has lost “a lot of [additional] money” on the two failed robotics deals prior to bringing Howe & Howe on board, now said he needs a last big investor.
- Treasure Hunters -v- Archaeologists
- A Guide to the Cost of Living in Belize
- Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America
- Treasure hunter searches for long-lost Spanish galleon in Nassau Sound
- The Lost Mayan City of Kaminaljuyu
- A New Life and Business in Roatan, Honduras
- Nova Scotia shipwrecks swallowed by sea, ignored by government
- Ancient gold coins, gold plate, silver anklets found
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