Treasure! No other word associated with the recovery of items from the ground is so much linked with the notion of adventure and is so popular as part of book, movie and website titels. Valuable items found after many hardships and dangers. Their rightful or not-so-rightful owner deceased centuries ago so they belong, at least morally, to the finder. Sudden wealth and excitement. So or similar are the ingredients of countless books or movies, and similar ideas caused men throughout history to take all sorts of risk to find something.
Entire libraries have been written on treasures and treasure hunting. Still, very few accounts have been written on real, tangible treasure. Nonfiction books and tv documentaries usually describe treasure rumors, treasure gossip, and classical treasure stories of unknown fact content re-told hundred times. They describe treasure myths, and the futile search for treasure but no successful finds – even if the title suggests otherwise to attract readers.
In total, much more money was spent than gained in treasure hunting operations. From the economical view these investments were highly speculative and in most cases resulted in total losses. Hereafter I shall distinguish between two sort of treasure hunting. First, the official hunt on a commercial basis by a huge company that reveals finds, if any, to the authorities and investors. And second, valuable items found be private persons, either by chance or after a targeted search.