Four Of The Most Famous Lost Golden Treasures
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Gold has always sparked the interest and inflamed the imagination of many individuals. Due to its precious nature, gold is highly coveted and must sought-after. Because of this, many legends about lost gold mines, cities of gold or buried treasure have peopled many a tall tale. Whether these legends have any truth in them or not is at best debatable, but the legends that have been associated with gold have become very integral to the human culture in general that it is almost inextricable from many other stories that helped to shape the perceptions of general civilization. Since ancient times, the idea of a vast treasure trove of innumerable wealth has fascinated many an intrepid adventurer to go on treasure hunts or quests to find a fortune to last for several lifetimes. Likewise, our continuous search for the sacred in the profane has added another twist to our fascination for gold, with mythic treasures that possess magical properties or supernatural qualities in the guise of worldly wealth. Here are four lost golden treasures that have helped shape much of the belief and awe that we find in gold today:
Four – Yamashita’s Treasure
Treasure hunters from all over the globe have sought for the reputed war booty of Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita for decades now. The legend of Yamashita’s gold tells of the alleged trove of war loot stolen by the maverick general during the Second World War and hidden in various underground tunnels and caves in the Philippine Island of Southeast Asia. While it has the makings of a tall tale, reputed proof of Yamashita’s treasure came to light when one local treasure hunter by the name of Rogelio ‘Roger’ Roxas was allegedly guided by a descendant of a Japanese soldier who once knew the location of the treasure. Accompanying the descendant, Roxas was later to find a cave with crates filled with gold bars and bullion, as well as a golden statue of a Buddha, which he kept to himself. This treasure was reportedly made of solid 20-carat gold, with some sources stating that the belly of the Buddha was encrusted with diamonds. He was to later lose this statue along with several gold bars when the then president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, allegedly confiscated the treasure from him. This find stoked the fires of a treasure hunting mania that still remains to this day. Unfortunately, any further finds in many of the caverns in the country have yet to bring up any further results. Many experts on the field believe that Yamashita’s treasure has already been shipped out of the Philippines to help fund Japan’s former war effort during the Sino-Japanese war and the eventual clash between Japan and the U. S. A. much later. Despite this alleged fact, treasure hunters, both local and foreign are still on the hunt for whatever remnants of Yamashita’s gold remains.
Three – The Lost City of Gold
The idea of a ‘Lost City of Gold’ has become the staple of many an adventure novel. The facts surrounding such legends however are more historical than mythical. The ‘Lost City of Gold’ is usually erroneously attributed to the ‘El Dorado’ of legends. However, what most people don’t know is that El Dorado was actually the attributed name of a legendary personage – a Muisca tribal chief or high priest who reputedly covered himself in gold dust as part of a tribal ceremony as described in the chronicle entitled El Carnero, written by one Juan Rodriguez Freyle. Later, with the conquest of the Aztec empire of Tenochtitlan the legend of a city of gold was further established by the conquistador Hernan Cortes in one of his letters to Charles V of Spain. The legend of a city filled with gold would fill the imagination of would-be adventurers for centuries. Recent studies published on the 9th of June this year showed how advanced laser mapping has ‘discovered’ one of the many possible cities of gold replete in myth and legend. The city of Ciudad Blanca, better known as the White City of gold was discovered in a remote region of the Honduran jungle through the use of laser mapping. While the city itself is mythic, so far, there were no golden statues or idols that were discovered though a team of archeologists have already geared up for an expedition.
Two – The Ark of Covenant
When talking about gold and lost treasures, sooner or later, something mythical or legendary is bound to come up. This is where the Ark of the Covenant comes in. A staple in Clive Cussler novels and Indiana Jones movies, the Ark of the Covenant is the legendary sacred receptacle of the fragments of the Ten Commandments along with other sacred relics from the Abrahamic caste of priests as described in the Old Testament. Cherished as a holy relic by the three Religions of the Book, the Ark of the Covenant is said to be made from the wood of the acacia tree and is reputed to possess magical properties. If that’s not enough to make a wannabe Indiana drool, the Ark was also said to be covered in sheets of precious gold, with a lid that featured two Seraphim, winged angels, also made of pure solid gold. Like all legendary artifacts, the Ark of the Covenant was lost after the destruction of the Temple of Solomon by the Babylonians in 586 BC the Ark was stolen and has henceforth been lost through history. Despite this, rumors of the Ark having been discovered have sprung up throughout the years, although none have been validated or disputed for that matter, and the hunt for the golden Ark still rages on.
One – The Sangreal
The Sangreal (as popularized by Dan Brown’s infamous Da Vinci Code) is better known to the general populace as the Holy Grail. Commonly believed to be the cup from which Christ drank from at the Last Supper and the receptacle of Christ’s blood during his impalement in the Crucifixion, the Holy Grail has been the subject of myth and legend for centuries. Usually attributed to earlier pagan symbolism, the Holy Grail as an object or treasure became a commonplace motif during the Dark Ages until the latter part of the Enlightenment as first a literal, and later, a fanciful treasure. In a literal sense, the Holy Grail was said to be a cup made of solid gold and encrusted with precious gems. In the Arthurian legends, the grail conferred healing or immortality to whosoever drank from it. The Grail was reputedly among the many treasures of the Temple of Solomon. Legend states that the Grail later came into the possession of the Knights Templar sometime during the middle of the 1100s, and has been guarded closely by the order since. Some individuals however believe that the true Holy Grail is still somewhere out there, and, like all elusive legendary treasures, is only waiting to be discovered by some intrepid but pure-hearted explorer.
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