When a team of unlikely explorers, including former judges and temple officials, started opening the vaults of a Kerala temple last week, they didn’t expect to find gold and precious stones worth $22 billion, according to preliminary estimates
A complete inventory of the artifacts found in the 16th century Hindu temple is expected to be filed to India’s Supreme Court next week.
With the findings, Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple joins the ranks of the world’s top treasure troves. After eluding explorers and archaeologists for years, these were found stashed in hidden vaults, secret chambers and caves.
A treasure trove is a large amount of gold, silver, gemstones, money, jewelry, or any valuable collection found hidden under ground or in cellar or attics, where the treasure seems old enough to presume that the true owner is dead and the heirs unrecoverable.
Throughout history there have been some incredible treasures found. Here is the biggest treasure ever found:
The treasure found at Tillya Tepe, which has become known as the Bactrian gold, was recovered from six burial mounds. More than 20,000 gold ornaments were retrieved.
The treasure was dated between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE, and came from the burial sites of a nomadic prince and five women (possibly his wives). What’s particularly interesting about this hoard is that the treasures are so diverse, with objects from China, India, and Greece all mixed together. The jewelry is elaborate, set with precious stones of all colors.
Since the treasure was uncovered in the late ’70s, it’s changed hands a number of times, especially when Afghanistan was invaded and the national museum, where the collection was kept, was looted in the Afghan-Russian war a few years later. It has since been recovered and is displayed at museums all around the world..