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Maya ‘snake dynasty’ tomb uncovered holding body, treasure and hieroglyphs…


Xunantunich, in western Belize, where archaeologists found a tomb and hieroglyphic panels depicting the history of the ‘snake dynasty’.
Xunantunich, in western Belize, where archaeologists found a tomb and hieroglyphic panels depicting the history of the ‘snake dynasty’. Photograph: Jaime Awe

Archaeologists have uncovered what may be the largest royal tomb found in more than a century of work on Maya ruins in Belize, along with a puzzling set of hieroglyphic panels that provide clues to a “snake dynasty” that conquered many of its neighbors some 1,300 years ago.

The tomb was unearthed at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan river in western Belize that served as a ceremonial center in the final centuries of Maya dominance around 600 to 800 AD. Archaeologists found the chamber 16ft to 26ft below ground, where it had been hidden under more than a millennium of dirt and debris.

Researchers found the tomb as they excavated a central stairway of a large structure: within were the remains of a male adult, somewhere between 20 and 30 years old, lying supine with his head to the south.

The archaeologist Jaime Awe said preliminary analysis by osteologists found the man was athletic and “quite muscular” at his death, and that more analysis should provide clues about his identity, health and cause of death.

In the grave, archaeologists also found jaguar and deer bones, six jade beads, possibly from a necklace, 13 obsidian blades and 36 ceramic vessels. At the base of the stairway, they found two offering caches that had nine obsidian and 28 chert flints and eccentrics – chipped artefacts that resemble flints but are carved into the shapes of animals, leaves or other symbols.

The excavation site at Xunantunich.
The excavation site at Xunantunich. Photograph: Jaime Awe

“It certainly has been a great field season for us,” said Awe, who led a team from his own school, Northern Arizona University, and the Belize Institute ofArchaeology.

The tomb represents an extraordinary find, if only for its construction. At 4.5 meters by 2.4 meters, it is “one of the largest burial chambers ever discovered in Belize”, Awe said. It appears to differ dramatically from other grave sites of the era. Most Maya tombs were built “intrusively”, as additions to existing structures, but the new tomb was built simultaneously with the structure around it – a common practice among cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, but uncommon among the Mayas.

“In other words, it appears that the temple was purposely erected for the primary purpose of enclosing the tomb,” Awe said. “Except for a very few rare cases, this is not very typical in ancient Maya architecture.”

Many Maya societies ruled through dynastic families. Tombs for male and femalerulers have been found, including those of the so-called “snake dynasty”, named for the snake-head emblem associated with its house. The family had a string of conquests in the seventh century, and ruled from two capital cities. Awe said the newly discovered hieroglyphic panels could prove “even more important than the tomb”, by providing clues to the dynasty’s history.

The third hieroglyphic panel discovered at the Mayan ruins in Xunantunich, in western Belize, with Awe holding a flashlight.
The third hieroglyphic panel discovered at the Maya ruins in Xunantunich, with Jaime Awe holding a flashlight. Photograph: Christophe Helmke

The panels are believed to be part of a staircase originally built 26 miles to the south, at the ancient city of Caracol. Epigraphers say the city’s ruler, Lord Kan II of the snake dynasty, recorded his defeat of another city, Naranjo, on the hieroglyph, to go with his many other self-commemorations. On another work, he recorded a ball game involving a captured Naranjo leader whom he eventually sacrificed.

Naranjo apparently had its revenge some years later, in 680AD, having the panels dismantled and partially reassembled at home with gaps and incorrect syntax – possibly deliberately, to obscure the story of the snake dynasties’ conquests. Fragments have been discovered elsewhere in Caracol and at a fourth site along the Mopan river, but Awe said the new panels could be “bookends” to the story of war and sacrifice in the ancient Maya world.

According to the University of Copenhagen’s Christophe Helmke, the research team’s epigrapher, the panels provide a clue for Kan II’s conquests – he appears to have dedicated or commissioned the work in 642AD – and they note the death of Kan’s mother, Lady Batz’ Ek’. The panels also identify a previously unknown ruler from the Mexican site of Calakmul, Awe said.

Helmke said the panels “tell us of the existence of a king of the dynasty that was murky figure at best, who is clearly named as Waxaklajuun Ubaah Kan” . This ruler reigned sometime between 630 and 640AD, and may have been Kan’s half-brother.

“This means that there were two contenders to the throne, both carrying the same dynastic title, which appears to have been read Kanu’l Ajaw, ‘king of the place where snakes abound’,” he wrote in an email.

The panels clarify what Helmke called a “tumultuous phase of the snake-head dynasty” and explain how it splintered between cities before dominating Maya politics in the region.

The panels identify the origin of the snake dynasty at Dzibanche, in the Yucatan peninsula of modern Mexico, and refer to the family’s move to their capital of Calakmul. Awe said Lady Batz’ Ek’ “was likely a native of Yakha, a site in neighboring Guatemala, who later married the ruler of Caracol as part of a marriage alliance”.

The nine eccentrics.
The nine eccentrics. Photograph: Kelsey Sullivan, courtesy Jaime Awe

The researchers have had their work peer-reviewed for publication in the Journal of the Pre-columbian Art Research Institute.

Awe said it was not clear why the panels appeared in Xunantunich, but the city may have allied itself with or been a vassal state to Naranjo. The cities both fell into decline, along with other Maya societies, around 800 to 1,000AD, for reasons still mysterious but possibly including climate change, disease and war.

The city was called Xunantunich, meaning “stone woman” in the Yucatec Maya, long after its abandonment by original residents. The name derives from folklore around the city about a hunter who saw a ghostly, statuesque woman, dressed in indigenous garb, standing near an entrance to a temple called El Castillo – a storytouted by tourist sites today. The site was also once called Mount Maloney, after a British governor.

The temple is impressive in its own right, a stone structure that towers 130ft above the city’s main plaza, adorned with a stucco frieze that represents the gods of the sun and moon

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, emeralds, Emperor, gold, gold chains, gold coins, hidden, jewels, Legends, Lost Treasure, silver, Strange News, treasure, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DEATH VALLEY UNDERGROUND CITY?


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DEATH VALLEY UNDERGROUND CITY?

Several years ago, two men – Jack and Bill (surnames
unknown) – were exploring in Death Valley, near Wingate
Pass, when one of them fell through the bottom of an old
mine shaft.

They claimed to have found themselves in a natural
underground cavern which they followed about 20 miles
northward into the heart of the Panamint Mountains.

“To our amazement,” they reported, “we found ourselves in
a huge, ancient, underground cave city.

“As we explored, we came upon several perfectly preserved
‘mummies’ They wore thick arm bands, and had gold spears.

“The place seemed to have been abandoned for ages, except
for the mummies. The entire underground system looked
very ancient.

“It was apparently once lit by an ingenious system of
lights fed by subterranean gases.

“In one spot was a polished round table. The thought
crossed our minds that it may have been part of an
ancient council chamber.

“There were also large statues of solid gold. And stone
vaults and drawers full of gold bars and all sorts of
gemstones.

“We were intrigued by some heavy stone wheelbarrows. They
were so perfectly balanced and scientifically-constructed
that even a child could use them.

The men reported that throughout the city were huge stone
doors which were almost perfectly balanced by counter-
weights.

They followed the caverns upwards to a higher level. The
caverns ultimately opened out onto the face of the
Panamint Mountains, about half-way up the eastern slope.

HIGH WATER OVER MOUNTAINS?

There were a few exits in the form of tunnel-like quays.

It appeared obvious that the valley below was once under
water. After some thought, they concluded that the arched
openings were ancient ‘docks’ for sea vessels.

Far below in the valley, they could pick out Furnace Creek
Ranch and Wash.

The explorers brought out with them some of the treasure
and tried to set up a deal with certain people, including
scientists associated with the Smithsonian Institute. The
idea was to gain help to explore and publicize the city
as one of the ‘wonders of the world’.

However, to their bitter disappointment, a ‘friend’ stole
the treasure (which was also the evidence).

And worse, they were rejected and scoffed at by the
scientists when they went to show them the ‘mine’
entrance and could not find it. It appeared that a recent
cloud-burst had altered the entire landscape. It did not
look like it had been before.

When Bill and Jack were last seen, they were preparing to
climb the east face of the Panamints to locate the
ancient tunnel openings or quays high up the side of the
steep slope.

But they were not seen again.

DOCTOR GIVES SIMILAR REPORT

In 1946 a retired physician by the name of F. Bruce
Russell told a similar story.

He claimed to have discovered strange underground rooms
in the Death Valley area in 1931. He spoke of a large
room with several tunnels leading off in different
directions.

One of these tunnels led to another large room. It
contained three mummies.

He identified artifacts in the room as similar in design
to a combination of Egyptian and American Indian.

GIANT MUMMIES

What struck him most about the mummies though was their
size – more than eight feet tall.

Dr. Russell and a group of investors launched “Amazing
Explorations, Inc” to handle the release, and profit,
from this find.

But, Russell vanished. And although he had personally
taken his friends there, they were never able to find the
caverns and tunnels again.

The desert can be very deceiving to anyone not used to
traveling it.

Months later, Russell’s car was found abandoned, with a
burst radiator, in a remote area of Death Valley. His
suitcase was still in the car.

Categories: aliens, Aliens and UFO's, Ancient Treasure, emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, Gold Mine, hidden, jewels, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Mines, Lost Treasure, Myths, Strange News, treasure, Treasure Hunters, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fla. family finds $1M of sunken Spanish treasure…in only 15 feet of water


MELBOURNE, Fla. — For a few weeks, the Schmitt family and 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC had a million-dollar secret on their hands. Last month, they recovered $1 million worth of sunken Spanish coins and jewels off the Florida coast.

“The treasure was actually found a month ago,” said Brent Brisben of 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC. Keeping the news under wraps was “particularly hard for the family that found it. They’ve been beside themselves.”

Recovered:

• 51 gold coins

• 40 feet of ornate gold chain

• A single coin called a Royal made for the king of Spain, Phillip V, a news release states. Only a few are known to exist, and the coin — nicknamed “Tricentennial Royal” — is dated 1715. Brisben said the extremely rare silver-dollar-sized coin is worth “probably around half a million dollars itself.”

The Schmitt family struck gold “in September 2013 after finding 50 feet of gold chain and an amazing gold filigree pyx in 2014,” the news release states. They are subcontractors to 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels and found the most recent treasure in shallow waters off Fort Pierce.

The timing of 1715 Fleet’s announcement coincides with the 300th anniversary of the Spanish treasure fleet’s shipwrecks off the coast of Florida.

That wreck has been the subject of numerous books, articles, documentaries and blogs. Capitan-General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla and his flagship, the Capitana, contained quite the cargo: more than 3.5 million pesos in priceless treasure, specifically, the queen of Spain’s jewels. En route from Cuba to Spain, 11 ships sank and their crews died during a hurricane on July 30.

1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, operated by treasure hunter Brent Brisben and his father, William Brisben, is a historic shipwreck salvage operation. The company works closely with treasure hunters, museums and underwater archaeologists such as Sir Robert Marx of Indialantic. Marx has written several books about the 1715 fleet and the queen’s jewels. He will speak about the historic event Tuesday at the Florida Institute of Technology.

A press conference about the Schmitt family’s find is scheduled for noon Tuesday in Sebastian.

Brent Brisben said NBC’s Today show and Fox News will spotlight the most recent treasure find this week.

“We’re going to be on Fox News on Wednesday morning,” he said. Camera crews did some filming for the Today show Monday morning, Brisben added.

Of the 11 ships that sank, Brisben said the 1715 Fleet has positively identified six of those ships. “Five more are remaining,” he said, “with an estimated $400 million worth of treasure still out there.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Legends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2,400-Year-Old Ancient Gold Bongs Unearthed In Russia……


drone-archaeology
A Scythian gold hoard has been unearthed in southern Russia. Meanwhile, remote-controlled aircraft are providing new opportunities for archaeologists all over the world. Pictured, a Peruvian archaeologist flies a drone over the archaeological site of Cerro Chepen in 2013. Reuters

A team of archaeologists has discovered a pair of gold “bongs,” or water pipes, in southern Russia. The artifacts, which are made of pure gold, are believed to be around 2,400 years old.

According to the archaeologists, tribal chiefs used the ancient paraphernalia to smoke opium and cannabis. The artifacts were unearthed along with several other items made up of gold, totalling seven pounds. They were discovered in southern Russia while the land was being dug up to erect power lines, reported the Tech Times.

The archaeologists believe the pair of treasures belonged to the Scythians, a nomadic people who ruled over a vast area from Eastern Europe to Central Asia from the 9th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. They did not leave permanent settlements but constructed great burial mounds called kurgans, which still exist from the Black Sea to Mongolia.

Historians say the Scythians would smoke opium and cannabis before going into battle to achieve an altered state of mind.

All the artifacts, including the golden bongs, neck rings, rings and jewels, have been collected for display at a Russian museum. Archaeologist Anton Gass says they constitute one of the finest discoveries so far from the region. The discovery was made in 2013, but was kept secret to prevent looting.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunken Ship Full of Treasure Lies Off Uruguayan Coast….


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In 1763, a British ship named Lord Clive was sailing off the coast of what’s now Uruguay. The ship was allegedly stocked with massive amounts of rum, as well as treasure chests full of gold and silver coins. During a raid, Spanish troops attacked the city of Colonia del Sacramento with cannon fire. The Lord Clive was struck in the bombardment, and went down. And so did all the ship’s treasure.
In 2004, the Lord Clive was located underneath some rocks at the bottom of the River Plate. Despite knowing where it was, the Uruguayan government has never permitted anyone to recover the ship — until now. Rubén Collado is an Argentinian treasure hunter who is attempting to salvage the shipwreck. With permission from the Uruguayan government, Collado is looking for investors to fund the mission. Recovering the ship will be expensive, but tales of the legendary treasure are an alluring pitch.
“Many people want to stake money, since they enjoy this kind of thing. It’s like gambling; you put in $1,000 and you could make $5,000 or $1 million, depending on what shows up,” Collado explained to The Guardian.
Another part of the reason people are so excited about the Lord Clive is the ship itself. The Royal Navy built the ship, and it was an impressive vessel, boasting six decks and 64 guns. The ship also belonged to what was once the world’s richest company, the East India Company.
“You can’t really make a valuation,” Collado said. “The cannons should be $64 million altogether. The coins are worth $5,000 to $6,000 each, and there are 100,000 of them, so just do the math. But the most important thing about that ship is her history. She’s probably the best you can find in that condition thanks to the fresh water in that part of the River Plate.”
With the ship’s rich history, the legends of treasure chests full of gold and silver, and huge amounts of 250-year-old rum, it’s no wonder Collado is having no trouble finding investors

Categories: Ancient Treasure, emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, jewels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Legendary Mysteries Involving The Knights Templar…..


The List Of 12 Who Escaped

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Photo credit: JoJan/Wikimedia

Templars were famously burned at the stake after being convicted of heresy in the beginning of the 14th century, rounded up and slaughtered wholesale. Less popularly known is the story of the French Templars who escaped. Even the Templar organization as it exists today isn’t sure what the whole story was.

According to the popular story, all the Templars were arrested on Friday the 13th, in October 1307. But it’s also been speculated that some escaped persecution. Estimates of numbers in the order at the time are somewhere around 3,000, but we only have records of the interrogations—and the fate—of about 600 of them. The rest? No idea.

If a massive, coordinated, country-wide series of arrests would have been impossible, many Templars had a chance to get out. Records tell of authorities pursuing some of the escaped knights, and one document in particular has been languishing in French archives for centuries. Only proved authentic recently after handwriting comparison, the document is a list of 12 names that were of particular interest to authorities.

Historians have identified a couple of these names and connected them with the reasons they were of such great interest. Humbert Blanc was a Crusader and master of Auvergne; he was captured and put on trial in 1308, denying all charges (save the secrecy of the order, which he thought unnecessary). Records say he was put in irons, but we’re not sure what happens to him afterward. A couple other names on the list—Renaud de la Folie and Pierre de Boucle—crop up again in trial records, but it’s difficult to tell why they were so important. The spelling of names is less than consistent, making it hard to connect names and deeds.

As for the others on the list, just why they were special targets of the authorities above others is a mystery. One, Guillaume de Lins, even has a question mark next to his name on the list. He’s perhaps Gillierm de Lurs, one of the officers in charge of ceremonies and receptions, but again, spelling gets in the way of establishing anything for sure. We don’t know much about Hugues Daray, either, or Adam de Valencourt, save that he was an elderly man who had, for some reason, joined the Templars twice.

Debt, An Assassination Plot, And The Arrests

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Photo credit: Giovanni Boccaccio

Also on the list of 12 is one man that we know just enough about to raise a whole bunch of other questions—Hugues de Chalon. De Chalon was put on trial after the arrests, but his name shows up in some pretty strange places even before that. A high-ranking officer in Champagne, he met with the pope in 1302 despite orders from the king that they weren’t to respond to the papal summons. History tells us what usually happens to people who disobey the king.

He’s also mentioned in another document associated with Heinrich Finke, the historian who discovered the list. That document refers to a plot to kill the king, supposedly hatched by de Chalon and a handful of unnamed others from the same sect within the Templars. But just what any of it refers to is unknown. We’re not sure what this plot was, if it even existed.

Also mentioned in the document is another name, Gerard de Montclair, and we’re not entirely sure who he is, either. The closest name historians have found in other records is Richard de Montclair from Cyprus, but no one’s been able to connect the two.

A plot to kill the king of France wouldn’t have been entirely out of the question. Philip IV was massively in debt, and he had already been doing quite a bit of creative requisitioning to try to alleviate that debt—some of which had been accumulated before he even took the throne. For starters, he began randomly declaring entire communities heretical and seizing their assets for the crown. He’d already targeted the Jewish community and several Lombard merchants. When that wasn’t enough to finance his campaigns to expand France’s territory, he turned to debasing the French currency at a rate of about two-thirds.

The Templars’ actions somewhat overshadows the rest of the populace’s rioting in protest of the currency adjustment. The riot’s supposed leaders were hanged in the streets as examples. Armed forces were then called in. That was right before the arrests of the Templars. It’s never been proven entirely that their arrests were a money grab, but it seems a likely conclusion.

What Was The Head Of The Templars?

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According to accusations, the Templars had an idol in their possession, a head. While most Templars denied knowing anything about the worship of a head, William of Arreblay claimed to have seen a ceremony in Paris where a silver head sat on an altar at the center of adoration. It was supposedly the head of Saint Ursula—the saint and her 11,000 virgins were reported to have remained faithful in the face of death and torture and were venerated by the Templars for it.

If that’s not unsettling enough, he also stated that the head had two faces. Other descriptions of the head were interpreted as being the head of Baphomet, while others said it was either wood, black and white, or metal.

The idea of the worship of an idol or head of Baphomet is one of the most popularly associated with the accusations presented at the Templar trials, but mention of the name in particular isn’t in any of the official arrest warrants. Supposedly, a version of the name Mahomed was, at some point assigned to the idols.

When things were going all sideways for the Templars, a head was supposedly recovered from their Paris temple. It was said to be a skull covered in silver, wrapped in linen, and labeled “Number 58.” Perhaps one of the 11,000 virgins William of Arreblay described?

It would be easy to dismiss the idea of the mysterious Templar head if the only mentions of it were around the accusations from those trying to brand them as heretics. But other historical accounts indicate that they did have a head, supposedly belonging to Saint Euphemia of Chalcedon.

The Greek orthodox saint was martyred by Emperor Diocletian and was thought to have particular powers against, ironically, heretics. Templar records indicate that during the Fourth Crusade, relics from the saint fell into their possession in Constantinople and were taken to Cyprus. The relic is pretty well recorded and can be traced through the Hospital of St. John and Rhodes, finally ending up in Malta as late as the early 17th century. The Templars used the presence of the skull, which they believed they had received by the grace of God, as evidence that they weren’t a heretical organization.

However, the body of Saint Euphemia rests in the church of St. George in Constantinople, and it’s intact.

The Skulls Of The Templars

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Photo credit: Library of Congress

High up in the mountains of France is an area called Luz. It’s the stuff of ancient forests and avalanches, of remote outposts recently only accessible by electric tram, of waterfalls, of mountains, and of lots of snow. It’s so remote that until the French Revolution, it was nearly independent. Even afterward, they held on to freedoms that absolutely didn’t exist elsewhere in France. Today, the whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in large part because of its layers and layers of human occupation dating back to at least 10,000 BC.

Luz is also home to one of the most well-preserved Templar churches in the world. While the Castle of Saint Marie sits in ruins, not far away is the immaculately preserved parish church, surrounded by crenellated walls, several towers, ramparts, and gateways. Clearly, the church was built by people who weren’t messing about.

The entire thing sits on the edge of the Gavarnie Cirque, a huge valley in the midst of canyons, crags, and mountains. And in the church of Gavarnie, there are 12 skulls, said to be the heads of the Templars who had been living at the fortified Luz church when the order for the Templar execution went out. There are no names, no bodies, and no other information on them, save a legend.

It’s said that every year, the specter of Grand Master de Molay enters the church and asks if there is anyone there who is willing to fight for the order and for the temple. One by one, each of the skulls answers, “None; the temple is destroyed.” While the legend is certainly fanciful, the fascinating story of what happened in the remote, disconnected, and mostly self-governing village to their Templars is long lost.

What’s Hiding Beneath Rosslyn Chapel?

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Photo credit: JeremyA/Wikimedia

No location is more closely tied with Templar lore and mysteries than Rosslyn Chapel. Once called the Collegiate Church of St. Matthew and located in Midlothian, Scotland, it’s always been known for its incredible stone carvings and seemingly mystical symbolism. The stories about Rosslyn have been growing for decades and range from the outright bizarre (alien landing spot) to the epic and romantic. (Twelve Templars lie in slumber beneath the chapel, ready to return when the world needs them again.)

Most of the stories come from a combination of the Sinclair family’s ties to the Templars and a work written by Father Richard Hay in the 1700s, where he tells of secrets within the chapel, hidden vaults, and a network of tunnels beneath it that led to the temporary resting place of the 12 knights. With the help of Sir Walter Scott, the stories were taken into that weird place between history and legend.

In 2010, The Glasgow School of Art and Historic Scotland started a project that seemed like it might solve all the mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel for good. The joint effort was to survey the entire site—and other World Heritage Sites—with 3-D scanners. The goal was to not only preserve the details of the chapel in its entirety but also to guide the multimillion-dollar restoration and preservation project that had been laid in place for the site.

It seems like completely scanning the building would clear up any mystery about secret doors, hidden tunnels, or undiscovered chambers, but it’s only made things a little bit more muddled. A vault sits beneath the chapel, but it was likely built in the late 1800s. No knights lie there, but one of the Earls of Rosslyn was buried there in 1937. And one researcher says results from an earlier scan done by the US Navy did go underground. He claims that the results showed a series of tunnels snaking along underground, away from the chapel.

Beneath Temple Mount

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The Templars have long been associated with lost treasure and artifacts like the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. While most of these theories are definitely in the realm of fiction and fantasy, one of the first Templar outposts had some definite treasure-bearing possibilities. In fact, we think they did one of the first large-scale excavations of the land and tunnels beneath Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Whether it was an accidental excavation that started when they were building their own additions or if they were looking for something in particular is not known. Nor is whether they found something.

In 1118, the Crusaders had been holding Jerusalem for 19 years. The Templars, originally having no real base of operations, received the land and the buildings of the Temple on Mount Moriah from Baldwin the Second, king of Jerusalem. At the time, the buildings there were partially Christian (from Emperor Justinian) and Muslim (from Caliph Omar). It was already documented as a place to store and display relics, as well as being built on the spot where God had appeared to David.

Originally, the Islamic temple was topped with a crescent, but Christian Crusaders tore it down and replaced it with a cross. Once the Templars took possession of the area, they not only took their name from it, but they started some construction projects of their own. The rock beneath the temple’s dome, long held to be the place where an angel had descended, had been left untouched for 15 years before the addition of an altar.

Here, the purpose of the Templars underwent a bit of a change. The original purpose of the group was to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, and once they were there, they decided that their role as protectors should extend to the holy places and relics of Christianity as well. Not long after, the newly established order had the backing and support of the king of Jerusalem, along with a host of European nobility and clergy.

Just how the Templars managed to get so big and get so much support so quickly is up for debate. They certainly had their supporters, but it’s also been suggested that when they moved in, they found some valuable relics that showed just how much God approved of their fledgling order.

That’s not to say that they found the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant, but questions remain. No actual traces of the First Temple had been found on the site. Recently, excavations uncovered an easily overlooked but important piece of potential evidence: a seal imprinted with the name of one of the First Temple’s chief administrators. While it confirms a lot about what was on the location, it also brings up more questions about what was uncovered and spirited away.

Henry Sinclair’s Trip To The New World

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Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

The Knights Templar were one of the groups long said to have beaten Columbus to the Americas. The theory is built on rather shaky ground, though, with a major piece of evidence being a 1558 Venetian manuscript that told the family history of the Zenos.

According to the story, Italian navigators Nicolo and Antonio Zeno recorded the details of a journey that started in 1380. It unfolded through a series of letters, in which they told of their experiences on an island they called Frislanda. Nicolo was the first there, shipwrecked and stranded, when a mysterious figure came to his rescue. Nicolo called him Prince Zichmni, painting him as a great warrior and inviting his brother to come join him in his service to the warrior prince. Supposedly, they spent the next 14 years fighting for the prince before learning of a group of fishermen that had returned after being gone for 25 years. They told of a land to the west, full of savages and strange animals, and Zichmni headed in that direction.

The story of Henry Sinclair leading the Knights Templar to the New World is built on this manuscript and the argument that “Zichmni” is an interpretation of “Sinclair.” Frislanda was an island in Orkney called Faray, and Sinclair’s status certainly would have made him appear to be a prince.

The theory wasn’t a popular one when it was first published, either. It wasn’t until a librarian from the British Museum looked at the text again in 1873, along with a map of the journey described, that the theory went more mainstream.

The possibility brings up questions about just what the Templars did during their time in the New World, but the possibility that it’s not Sinclair is just as intriguing.

Henry Sinclar And Glooscap

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Photo credit: SimonP/Wikimedia

According to the origin story of a handful of Atlantic-region people (including the Mi’kmaq, the Abenaki, and the Maliseet), the Earth first created a pair of twins called Glooscap and Malsm, or Good and Evil. Glooscap created all the animals (except the badger) and eventually created humans. After killing his evil twin, he gave humans all the basic knowledge they would need to survive, and then he disappeared. Before he left, though, he said that he wasn’t entirely gone, and he would return if he was ever needed again.

A theory developed in the 1950s that the ever-evolving story of Glooscap has been heavily influenced by Henry Sinclair. Frederick Pohl claims that the stories of Glooscap were based on a real person, and even representatives from the Mi’kmaq have suggested that it’s not entirely that far-fetched an idea. They say that it’s entirely possible that the stories of Glooscap were built around the appearance of real, living people, immortalized in stories and receiving the identity of the creator of humankind as an honor.

Supporters point to what they see as the evidence linking Sinclair to the Glooscap myth. Supposedly, Glooscap was said to have been royalty from an island far away, and he wielded a sword. He had three daughters, like Sinclair. A European presence in Nova Scotia and the resulting cultural exchange also allegedly drove a shift in the diet of the people living there. Around the same time Sinclair would have theoretically been there, the Mi’kmaq show a shift in their diet to one more heavy in fish—because, they say, Glooscap taught them how to use nets for a more bountiful catch.

The Templars At Bannockburn

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Just what happened to all the men that escaped the purge of Templars has been up for speculation for a long time. According to one theory—that’s at least partially supported by a Templar presence in Scotland—they headed north and joined forces with Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn.

Bannockburn turned the tide of Scottish history with a triumph over English forces. It happened in 1314, and according to some, the Scottish victory was in no small part due to Templar influence. Supporters of the theory say there’s no way Robert the Bruce could have won against the English army alone. Critics say that argument is both wrong and damages Scottish pride. Scotland was something of a safe haven for the Templars, as the order had already been given land there. They knew this, and (according to the story) fled persecution in France for the safety of Scotland and entered the Battle of Bannockburn on the side of the Scots.

There’s little to no accepted historical evidence for their presence there, though. Rumored written reports suggest the Scottish victory was largely due to the sudden appearance of an unknown group of warriors.

The Unknown Knights Of Temple Church

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Photo credit: Diliff/Wikimedia

The Temple Church of London was consecrated in 1185 as the London headquarters of the Knights Templar. Built in the typical round designreminiscent of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, it saw Henry II there for its opening. At one point, it was almost the final resting place for Henry III.

Inside the church are the effigies of several figures. A piece from 1576 describing the interior of the church talks about the monuments and sculptures to nobles and knights. We know one is William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke, and two others are his sons, William and Gilbert. There’s also one for Geoffrey de Mandeville, William de Ros, and Richard of Hastings. The identity of the others is a mystery.

The earliest accounts don’t even agree on how many of the effigies there were. The effigies are defined as either lying cross-legged or straight-legged. The Survey of London refers to 11 effigies, while others say eight, and still others say nine. It’s thought that one of the effigies we have identified—William de Ros—was added after the others had been laid, but there are no records indicating why or when he was moved there.

In 1842, the figures underwent a thorough restoration, uncovering the names of the knights we’ve mentioned but finding no trace of who the others might be. It’s suggested that they’re not even knights, as their images don’t seem to be properly armored or bearded. We’re also not sure why some are cross-legged and some aren’t, although knowing their identities would probably help clarify that.

In 1941, Temple Church was hit by a bombing raid. The effigies, badly damaged, have since been repaired, and plaster casts that were made before the damage are housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It’s unlikely we’ll ever know who the remaining figures are. In their day, they were important enough to rank a place of honor in the headquarters of the Knights Templar, but today, we’ve forgotten everything about them.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Legends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After 252 years, English warship to be recovered off Uruguay…..


Treasure hunter Ruben Collado stands in front of a model of the “Lord Clive” in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay on April 29, 2010 (AFP Photo/Daniel Caselli)

Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) (AFP) – A sunken English warship, perhaps holding a treasure chest of gold coins onboard, will be raised from its watery grave off the coast of Uruguay after being submerged for some 252 years, a treasure hunter announced.

 ship

The “Lord Clive,” sunk by the Spaniards in 1763, was discovered by adventurer Ruben Collado in 2004.

Collado announced late Friday he has received permission from the Uruguay government to bring up the remains of the 60-gun privateer from off the coast of Colonia del Sacramento.

The Lord Clive was sunk by fire from the shore as the British and Portuguese tried to bombard and take the city from the Spanish during the Seven-Years War that saw colonial powers square off around the globe. Some 270 people onboard were killed.

The Spanish held Colonia del Sacramento but would eventually have to return the city to the Portuguese under a treaty signed the same year.

The ship, outfitted to wage war for three to four years, may be carrying extensive amounts of gold, as well as barrels of rum and mercury.

But before the explorers can examine the wreckage and possibly display it for the public, they must overcome numerous obstacles in the River Plate.

Muddy waters, fast currents and tons of rock present a serious challenge for recovering the wreckage, Collado said.

Sunk just offshore off Colonia del Sacramento, the Lord Clive was covered with tons of rocky material that crews must remove to bring the ship to land.

Recovery efforts for the 50-meter (160-foot) six-story high ship should begin in August

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, gold coins, jewels | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Strikes Gold on Sunken Treasure Hunt — Again


A Florida man literally struck gold when he unearthed a “priceless” religious artifact from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

The sunken treasure was discovered at the site of a shipwreck that happened nearly 300 years ago off the coast of Ft. Pierce. It’s the missing piece of a necklace that was discovered at the same wreck in 1989.

Called a pyx, the ornate gold trinket is a Spanish artifact used by priests to hold the communion host, Brent Brisben, the operations manager of Queens Jewels, told ABC News.

Treasure-Hunting Family Strikes Gold Off Florida Coast

“We find shipwrecked artifacts on a daily basis, but it’s more like ship spikes and musket balls, so when you get an extremely rare, unique piece like this, it’s exciting,” Brisben said.

He said 27-year-old Eric Schmitt, a professional salvager in Florida, found the piece last month on a scavenging hunt with his family. Last year, he had dug up more than $300,000 worth of gold chains and coins from the same wreckage.

PHOTO: Gold chains and coins Eric Schmitt discovered at the same shipwreck last year.

Booty Salvage
PHOTO: Gold chains and coins Eric Schmitt discovered at the same shipwreck last year.

“He found an incredible silver platter when he was 14 years old,” Brisben added.

Hunting for buried treasure is the Schmitt’s family business. They own Booty Salvage and work for Brisben’s company, which owns rights to the wreckage. Brisben also goes on treasure-hunting excursions.

“It’s incredibly difficult work,” Brisben said. “It’s long, it’s in the middle of the summer, it’s hot. You’re in the sun all day. It’s quite laborious work, so when you come across an amazing artifact like that, words can’t describe it. It’s a surreal experience to touch something from 300 years ago, to learn about it, and to share it with the world.”

PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.

Courtesy 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, LLC
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.

Spanish historians recently discovered what it was and linked it to the artifact dug up 25 years ago. The piece has not been appraised yet, but Brisben called it “priceless.”

By law, it is in the custody of the U.S. District Court in South Florida. The state can take possession of up to 20% of Brisben’s goods. Proceeds from the rest are split between his company and the Schmitt family.

The shipwreck where it was found is one of the most important in history. Several galleons packed with treasures from the New World left Havana, bound for Spain, and were taken down by a hurricane in 1715.

Categories: Archaeology, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Legends, Lost Treasure, silver, Spanish gold, Strange News, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capt. Karl Fismer LIVE on The Detecting Lifestyle Radio Show…


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Tomorrow night.. Tuesday February 17th, 2015.. 8:30PM EASTERN TIME..
THE DETECTING LIFESTYLE RADIO SHOW LIVE, presents…
AN EVENING WITH CAPT. CARL FISMER!!
Wide open folks, as we welcome Capt. Fizz back with us, but a little different this time!!
Capt. Carl will be live for all you good folks to talk with!!
Remember this man has done some of the most incredible things in treasure hunting!!
If you have ever wanted to talk with him, or just ask him a question, then this is GO TIME folk!!
Join us as we listen and talk with a living legend!!
Click the link below to listen live through the player tomorrow night!!

http://en.1000mikes.com/show/the_detecting_lifestyle_family

Categories: emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Mel Fisher, roman coins, silver, silver coins, Spanish gold, Strange News, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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