Shipwreck treasure hunting in Indonesia

A feature on Klaus Keppler, who salvages shipwrecks in the seas of Indonesia. Unfortunately the article is more about how lucrative (or unlucrative) such ventures may be, rather than the archaeological value of the finds.

Cannons and china – treasure hunting in Indonesia
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, vis Monsters & Critics, 23 July 2009

In the lore surrounding hidden treasures, the gods often see fit to subject the treasure hunter to a long quest before he finds the objects of his desire.

Treasure hunter Klaus Keppler knows that only too well. For years, the owner of a salvage company has been looking for the wrecks of ships that had been carrying gold, silver or china. Now, after a long dry spell, he got lucky. Twice.

Keppler – who has recovered a 10th-century wreck and the Forbes, a British vessel that ran aground in 1806, off Indonesia – contentedly surveys his treasures in a Jakarta port storehouse, holding up a huge lump of silver coins.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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