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Treasure hunting is the physical search for treasure.
In modern times
In recent times, the early stages of the development of archaeology included a significant aspect of treasure hunt; Heinrich Schliemann's excavations at Troy, and later at Mycenae, both turned up significant finds of golden artifacts. Early work in Egyptology also included a similar motive.
More recently, most serious treasure hunters have started working underwater, where modern technology allows access to wrecks containing valuables which were previously inaccessible. Starting with the diving suit, and moving on through Scuba and later to ROVs, each new generation of technology has made more wrecks accessible. Many of these wrecks have resulted in the treasure salvage of many fascinating artifacts from Spanish treasure fleets as well as many others.
Treasure hunting is condemned by a growing number of nations, and UNESCO issued a chart for the protection of the underwater cultural heritage in 2001: the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. This convention is a legal instrument helping states parties to improve the protection of their underwater cultural heritage.
Notable treasure hunters
- Capt. Martin Bayerle located the shipwreck of RMS Republic in 1981.
- Mel Fisher (discoverer of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha)
- Cork Graham (war correspondent, author)
- Mike Hatcher (discoverer of the "Nanking Cargo")
- Juan Ponce de León (searched the new world for gold and the Fountain of Youth)
- Robert F. Marx (underwater archaeologist, author)
- Odyssey Marine Exploration has extracted treasure from the shipwreck of the SS Republic
- E. Lee Spence (pioneer underwater archaeologist, author)
- Philip Masters (led the hunt for and discovery of the Queen Anne's Revenge)
- Armchair treasure hunt
- Buried treasure
- La chouette d'or
- List of missing treasure
- Lost mines
- Marine salvage and treasure hunting (marine)
- Metal detector
- Oak Island
- "Protection | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Unesco.org. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
- Robert E. Burgess, Sunken Treasure (Dodd, Mead; New York; 1988)
- Cork Graham, The Bamboo Chest; 2004
- Dr. E. Lee Spence, Treasures of the Confederate Coast: the "Real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations (Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, 1995)
- Two firms seek ship, Carolina Coast Online
- Treasure hunter in race to uncover ship of riches, Google
- Philip Masters, True Amateur of History, Dies at 70, New York Times
- Shipwrecks and Treasure: the Spanish Treasure Fleet of 1750
- Treasure hunter that found Blackbeard's pirate ship sues state for $8.2 million, Fayetteville Observer
- Lawmakers enter legal battle over Blackbeard's ship, News & Observer