I have just signed the contract for my new book to be titled Ancient Treasure.
Why are so many people fascinated by treasure? Is it purely a desire for wealth or is it also the romantic appeal of tales of lost ancient artefacts? Indeed the stories behind certain treasures, especially those looted from their archaeological context, read like a cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond. Such a case is Sevso Treasure, a hoard of 14 large silver vessels from the late Roman Empire, estimated to be worth $200 million on today’s market. Looted from an unknown Roman palace in the 1970s the story of these ‘cursed’ pieces as some researchers have called them, involves at least one possible murder, shady consortiums, allegations of forgery, and back market double-dealing. Or the celebrated Amber Room, a complete chamber decoration of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors, stolen by the Nazis in 1941 from the Palace of Tsarskoye Selo, near Saint Petersburg, and brought to the castle at Königsberg (modernKaliningradin Russia) from where it disappeared, though rumours persist that it still survives today as a part of the Nazi loot known as the Štěchovice Treasure. This book is about such ancient treasures and the astonishing stories behind them.
In March of this year I did a 2-hour interview at the Rotunda, Birmingham (UK) for a History Channel documentary about the rise and fall of ancient civilizations. The show is called CIVILIZATION LOST and will air on the History Channel’s new network H2 this Sunday December 11 at 9pm in the US, after which it will be available on DVD. Should be interesting.
The prehistoric group of monuments known as the Rollright Stones possess their own unique atmosphere, and have attracted a wealth of supernatural folklore over the centuries involving witches, fairies, invading ‘Danes’, and the famous prophetess Mother Shipton. Read more >>
Is there any truth behind the legend that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Thorn, and even the Holy Grail, from the Holy Land to Glastonbury? Read more >>
‘Crystal skulls’ are enigmatic and controversial objects. Believed by some to be ancient artifacts with extraordinary magical and healing properties, and dismissed by others as relatively modern forgeries, there is no agreement about their origins. Read more >>
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Buried for most of its life in the desert sand, an air of mystery has always surrounded the Great Sphinx, causing speculation about its age and purpose, method of construction, concealed chambers, role in prophesy, and relationship to the equally mysterious pyramids. Read more >>
Located in modern Turkey, Göbekli Tepe is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The stunning 10,000 year old complex has led some researchers to claim it was the site of the biblical Garden of Eden. Read more >>
The cutting of huge figures or geoglyphs into the turf of English hillsides has been going on for more than 3000 years. There are 56 hill figures scattered around England, with the vast majority on the chalk downlands of the southern part of the country. These mysterious figures include giants, horses, crosses Read more >>