Monday, May 9, 2011

Top 5 Amazing Lost Treasures

5. The Treasure of the Pharaohs--Herihor, a high court official during the reign of Ramses XI, placed himself in charge of reburial proceedings at the Valley of the Kings after Ramses' death. This gave him an opportunity to pilfer treasure troves on a grand scale. Fate: Herihor's tomb has never been found. If it is ever located, historians believe many missing treasures of Egypt's pharaohs will finally see the light of day. For decades, mummies, pharaohs, and lost gold have been mega-hits, both at the box office and book stores.

4. Lost Inca Gold--The Spanish commander Francisco Pizarro captured an Incan King called Atahualpa. Pizarro promised to release him in exchange for a large amount of gold. The Incan people collected the gold and delivered half to Pizarro, but before the remainder could be delivered, Pizarro had the king killed. Fate: Many believe the king's followers buried the treasure in a mountain cave. In 1886 Barth Blake claimed he found the treasure, describing "golden vases full of emeralds" and giant gold statues. However, Blake died at sea before he could arrange an expedition to the site and no one has been able to locate it since. Remember Clive Cussler's "Inca Gold?" A real life account of the search for lost Inca gold can be found in "Valverde's Gold," written by Mark Honigsbaum.

3. The Ark of the Covenant--Described in the Bible as a vessel containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, along with Aaron's rod and manna. One recent study suggests the Ark represented man's first harnessing of electricity. Accounts of people dying after touching the Ark are consistent with high voltage (Remember Indiana Jones?) Fate: In the year 600 BC, Jerusalem was attacked and conquered by the Babylonians. When the Israelites reclaimed Jerusalem, the Ark was gone, possibly destroyed by the Babylonians, but some believe God reclaimed it. Indiana Jones loved this theme!

2. El Dorado--The legendary "Lost City of Gold." is actually the name of a tribal chief who covered himself with gold dust as an initiation rite and then dove into a highland lake. El Dorado became the city of this legendary king. Francisco Pizarro's half-brother, Gonzalo, would depart 1541 in an expedition towards the Amazon, which ended in disaster, with many dying from hunger, disease and attacks from hostile natives. Fate: Though many have searched for years to find the "Lost City of Gold," nothing has ever been found. In the movie and book, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls," El Dorado is actually the location of the hidden skulls.

1. King Solomon's Treasure--Sacred artifacts looted by the Romans from the Temple of Jerusalem,including silver trumpets heralding the Coming of the Messiah, golden candelabra, and the bejeweled Table of the Divine Presence. These were among pieces shipped to Rome after the looting in AD 70. Fate: Though long suspected of being hidden in the vaults of the Vatican, archeologists now believe the treasure that left Rome may have been taken to Carthage, Constantinople, and then Algeria before being hidden in the Judean wilderness, beneath the Monastery of Theodosius. "King Solomon's Mines," a famous book about the lost treasure, is only one of many written about this fantastic missing treasure trove.

Next week: The Six Codes No One Can Solve!

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