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Treasure (from Greek θησαυρός - thēsauros, meaning "treasure store",[2] romanized as thesaurus) is a concentration of riches, often one which is considered lost or forgotten until being rediscovered. Some jurisdictions legally define what constitutes treasure, such as in the British Treasure Act 1996.

The phrase "blood and treasure" or "lives and treasure" has been used to refer to the human and monetary costs associated with various (usually Nation-state/state-initiated) endeavours such as space exploration or war.


Treasure hunting

Searching for hidden treasure is a common theme in legend and fiction, real-life treasure hunters also exist, and can seek lost wealth for a living.

Buried treasure

A buried treasure is an important part of the popular beliefs surrounding pirates. According to popular conception, pirates often buried their stolen fortunes in remote places, intending to return for them later (often with the use of treasure maps).

In English fiction there are three well known stories that helped popularize the myth of buried pirate treasure[3]: "The Gold-Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe, "Wolfert Webber" by Washington Irving and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. They differ widely in plot and literary treatment but are blood kin from the common ancestor of the William Kidd legend.[4] Stevenson's Treasure Island was directly influenced by Irving's "Wolfert Webber", Stevenson saying in his preface "It is my debt to Washington Irving that exercises my conscience, and justly so, for I believe plagiarism was rarely carried farther.. the whole inner spirit and a good deal of the material detail of my first chapters.. were the property of Washington Irving."[4]

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