Nuggets from Treasure!

"There is something in a treasure that fastens upon a man's mind...He will never forget it..."
                                                    - Nostromo (from Nostromo by Joseph Conrad)
Treasure is a word that stirs the imagination of everyone of every age. An educational and entertaining exhibit for museums and science/technolgy centers, Treasure! explores the history of treasures and treasure hunting, the technology employed in hunting treasure, as well as the people and personalities that hunt for treasure—including you!

What is treasure? Who hunts for treasure? Why do they hunt treasure? How do people hunt for treasure? What do you treasure? Explore these questions and take part in your own treasure hunt when you visit Treasure!

Treasure! has several thematic areas and hands-on activities that allow you to try tools of treasure hunting and investigate treasures. Special exhibit features include actual artifacts from shipwrecks and other treasure sites. Visitors are invited to go on a treasure hunt in the exhibit to locate the special treasure chest.


Underwater Treasure — Sunken treasure, lost aboard ships that never arrived at their destinations, has long been the object of pursuit for treasure hunters. This part of the exhibit examines who are these hunters, what tools do they use to locate treasure, and what do they find. Actual shipwreck artifacts are part of this module. Activities include a Remote Operated Vehicle.

Buried Treasure — Pirate booty, the Knights Templar, and hoards of gold are popular themes in treasure lore and some of it really exists. How do people hunt for buried treasure? What do they find? These topics are explored in the buried treasure area.

Metal Detecting — Throughout Treasure!, the tools and technology of treasure hunting are explored. Visitors can experiment with metal detectors and see how they work in this part of the exhibit that bridges Buried Treasure and the Modern Treasure Hunt.

Gold Rushes — The gold rushes of the 19th century are slipping further into history but their impact remains in many parts of the North America. This part of the exhibit brings the hunt for gold to your visitors with an actual gold panning activity. Biographical sketches, timelines, and maps put the gold rushes in context. Visitors are also invited to be worth their weight in gold with our special scale.

Treasures in the Attic — Bringing the treasure closer to home, the attic module shows visitors how to find treasures in everyday objects. Family heirlooms and even long-lost toys may hold hidden value. Treasure hunting is often thought of as someone else's activity, but most of us pursue our own version of treasure in one way or another. The attic invites people to consider, what do YOU treasure?

Treasure in Popular Culture — Treasure is one of the most popular themes across cultures. Games, books, movies, TV shows are full of treasure stories. Even breakfast cereal and license plates have been touched by our thirst for the adventure of treasure hunting. This thematic area will be split between the Attic and the Introductory area in some venues.

The Modern Treasure Hunt — Contemporary treasure hunting employs exciting technology, like metal detectors. In this area, visitors will consider the various ways that people find their way (maps, compasses, landmarks) and other tools of navigation, including the Global Positioning System.

Geocaching — This family-friendly outdoor activity first appeared in 2001 and now boasts hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts. Using GPS receivers, players hide and seek 'treasure' purely for fun. Visitors will do an indoor version of geocaching in this part of the exhibit. (NRG! Exhibits will also help incorporate into the exhibit an actual geocache hunt in your community.)

Protecting Treasure — To what extremes will people go to protect treasure—or to steal it? Visitors try their hand at opening a safe in this area, which only appears in larger showings of the exhibit.

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