Category Archives: Famous Treasure Finds

Captain Kidd’s Treasure is a Big Lump of Lead

Captain Kidd’s treasure turns out to be a bar of lead!

Back in May we reported on the discovery of a 50kg (110lb) silver bar, recovered from what was believed to be the wreck of Captain William Kidd’s ship, the Adventure Galley, off the coast of Madagascar. The press quickly jumped on the story, claiming Captain Kidd’s treasure had been discovered.

Portrait of Captain William Kidd, captain kidd's treasure found in Madagascar?
Portrait of Captain William Kidd

The United Nations have released a statement saying that the wreck is not Captain William Kidd’s ship and the ‘silver bar’ is, in fact, 95% lead:

“The mission showed that several historic wrecks lie indeed in the bays of Sainte-Marie island,”

“However, what had been identified as the Adventure Galley of the pirate Captain Kidd has been found by the experts… to be a broken part of the Sainte-Marie port constructions.”

More on the BBC web site.

I have set up a forum thread to discuss this find, please comment on this story here or on the forum!

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The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain

The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain

The list of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain – the original manuscripts, written in Welsh, date from the 15th and 16th centuries, but they almost certainly draw on paper sources and oral traditions that are far, far older.

The list of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain is long over due an update, let’s bring the list of the Thirteen Treasures of Britain into the 21st century!

I’m not talking strictly about metal detecting finds here, but also coins, artefacts, hoards, brooches, weapons etc. that may have been excavated by archaeologists, found purely by chance by people digging drainage ditches or ploughing fields, uncovered by barrow diggers or by workman renovating old buildings.

Here are a few suggestions to get things started:

The items on the above list may not possess the supernatural abilities and properties of the original Thirteen Treasures, but they are certainly all magical in their own way.

Have your say, what are Great Britain’s Thirteen Greatest Treasures? leave a comment here, over on the forum or email me! If we can get together a good, interesting list, I’ll set up a poll so that everybody and anybody can vote for their favourites.

Roman Silver Leda mirror from the Boscoreale treasure

Roman Silver Leda mirror from the Boscoreale treasure

Roman first century silver Leda mirror from the Boscoreale treasure, photo courtesy of the Louvre.
Roman first century silver Leda mirror from the Boscoreale treasure, photo courtesy of the Louvre.

Another superb piece of roman silversmithing – the Leda and the Swan mirror from the Boscoreale treasure. This piece dates from the first century AD and was found in the remains of the Boscoreale Villa, a high status dwelling just outside Pompeii, that was destroyed in 79AD by the eruption of mount Vesuvius.

Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim Treasure

Probably the finest known example of the Roman silversmith’s art:

Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim Treasure. Photograph by Andreas Praefcke from Wikipedia
Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim Treasure. Photograph by Andreas Praefcke from Wikipedia

Silver cup with Athena seated from the Hildesheim treasure, discovered on October 17, 1868 on Galgenberg Hill in Hildesheim, Germany. Dating from the first century AD, this cup may have been owned and used by the commander of the lost Varus legions.