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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Urban Treasure Hunters--How to Find Lost Treasures (or at least get some exercise trying)

Do you ever wonder if those folks scrounging beaches and parks with metal detectors are finding anything valuable? Do you love the idea of discovering hidden stashes or lost goods? If so, you might have fun becoming an "urban treasure hunter." At the least, you might be interested in reading about it.

With The Urban Treasure Hunter: A Practical Handbook for Beginners loaded on your kindle, you'll be ready to brave the elements to find some lost goodies.

Tompkins Square Park, in New York City's East Village, has produced coin recoveries dating back to the 1830s. A construction site in Philadelphia recently yielded ceramic perfume containers and embossed pipe bowls from the 1860s.

"Urban treasure hunter" Chaplan explains how to find, unearth and identify valuable artifacts like these in this how-to manual. He provides information on dealing with curious onlookers and fitting into a neighborhood (in "upscale" areas, dress like a jogger; in "tough areas," wear camouflage items and worn jeans), covers legal issues, provides a surprisingly scholarly and in-depth lesson in archeology and details how and where to search for and clean old coins, bottles and historical and prehistoric artifacts (he also gives tips on how to cash in on this hobby). 

Chaplan peppers his text with quotations from fictional and real adventurers, from Sherlock Holmes to Rudyard Kipling, and includes do-it-yourself instructions for building a sifter and even setting up an electrolysis device for cleaning unearthed metal objects. Chaplan's enthusiasm enlivens the extensive, solid factual information, and although his comparison of urban treasure hunters to history's swashbuckling explorers is a bit exaggerated, stories of his own hunting experiences in the greater New York area, as well as tales of discoveries of booty in unexpected places, prove his point that adventures and buried treasure are closer to home than most would expect.

At the very least, you'll get some exercise out there!

The Urban Treasure Hunter

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