Hammered English silver penny minted
Egil Skallagrimsson was a Viking mercenary, poet, drunkard, lawyer and farmer. Despite numerous voyages to Scandinavia and the British Isles he made his home in southwestern Iceland. This is where he lived the last days of his life and where he eventually buried the two treasure troves given to him by King Aethelstan of England.
The exact location of the buried treasure has been widely debated by scholars over the years. Most scholars contend that the treasure is buried near what is regarded as the modern day location of Egil's farm, while others argue that the location has been lost over the centuries and lies further west of the modern farm. Some have speculated that the treasure lies in a nearby swamp or possibly buried in great fire pits close to the original farm.
Based on our research and careful examination of the archaeological records in the area, we have plotted out two grids of approximately 500m x 500m area that we will meticulously survey using the most sophisticated search techniques. In the summer of 2001 we will concentrate on these two grids. These grids will effectively test both theories. Our intention is to survey the two most likely areas in a systematic approach that will allow us to state with a very high degree of probability whether the chests are contained within the parameters of the field of survey.
Over time it is our intention to move across the entire region either independently or in concert with other search teams to effectively scour the entire valley. If unsuccessful in the first season of surveys The Aethelstan Project's long term mandate is to determine the exact burial location of the two chests of silver even if this is accomplished by fostering a raft of subsequent expeditions in subsequent years. Based on the research already conducted and findings from previous archaeological records the most likely areas will be surveyed first. It is therefore expected that the treasure will be located in this, the initial survey.
This information was compiled by the esteemed Athelstan Project leader, General Jick, a.k.a. Les Jickling.
Buried deep amongst furious geysers and glaciers lies the lost treasure of Viking Poet Egil Skallagrimsson. For more than 1,000 years, it has remained unearthed. The hoard is said to contain two chests of silver coins which promise a find of both historic and monetary consequence.
In August 2001 an international team assembled in Iceland as part of the Aethelstan Project. Project members were from New Zealand, Canada and Great Britain - a well-rounded collection of scholars, adventurers and technical experts. The team followed a sophisticated methodology involving advanced equipment and techniques in hope of digging up the booty.
Forming an integral part of the party was myself, inexperienced in treasure-hunting yet a legend with the shovel. People say I am to a shovel like Hendrix was to a guitar. I planned to use this valuable gift to dig away every grain of dirt that covered the chests, buried under a millennium of frozen soil.
Obviously any good treasure hunting team requires more than just good digging and my fellow team members each possessed the necessary skills in their fields that were crucial to our goal.
Every treasure hunter has dreams of how they will spend the loot if they are fortunate enough to uncover it. I didn't want to count my chickens, but with the portion of my share that I didn't give to charity, I planned to buy a Fiat Bambina, give it a little more horse power, put a good wireless in and cover its interior with red shag-carpet.
I'd drive the wee wagon from the Fjords of Norway to Arris in Northern France, where fellow treasure hunter, General Jick, and myself would participate in the Paris-Dakar Rally. From Dakar, I'd do a loop of Africa, then onto Nepal via the former Soviet Block, where I'd climb in the Himalayas. After climbing season I'd drive to the South Coast of India, purchase a yacht and circumnavigate the high seas of the globe making calls in most of the worlds great coastal cities.
The last port of call would be my hometown of Wellington, where I will buy a nice house on the hill with a view, and quite possibly a weekend escape in the Marlborough Sounds, with a vineyard/ranch in the Wairarapa.
So I guess the only thing left to do now is dig!