Treasure hunting off Costa Rica

10th Aug 2012

A group of researchers will search for hidden treasure on Cocos Island, which is situated 350 miles off the coast of Costa Rica.

Legend has it the £160-million "Treasure of Lima" calls the island home, and now British engineer Shaun Whitehead is heading up a team of treasure hunters going in search of the bounty.

Whitehead will be accompanied by 15 other researchers from the Senckenberg Institute and the University of Costa Rica.

The items listed in the stash are 200 chests of jewels, 113 gold religious statues, 1,000 diamonds, 273 swords with jewelled hilts, 150 chalices, hundreds of silver and gold bars and solid gold crowns.

The scheduled 10-day expedition will start in November but the finding the treasure is not the only objective of the trip to the Unesco world heritage-site island.

Whitehead has promised officials the uninhabited island will be studied for ecological, geological and archaeological significance.

He said: "This is a scientific survey, including archaeological, geological and biodiversity aspects. Unlike previous trips we are not going to dig vast holes or do anything destructive at all. The real treasure of the island is its natural beauty. Anything else we find there is simply a bonus."

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