Treasure hunting!

Just by way of a change today I went looking for buried treasure. Well it livens life’s duller moments doesn’t it?

My neighbour, Ali, has been badgering me to go with him to follow up a story that somebody had told him about buried gold. Eventually I had had enough, I couldn’t think up any more excuses and I didn’t want to just say I didn’t believe it because that would have upset him so I said I would go with him.

So not long after ten o clock this morning we set off in my car. We had to drive up into the mountains about forty minutes from where I live. We parked the car and walked off into the forest up a quite steep hill. The wood was fairly thick and it wasn’t easy to climb but we persevered. Ali had told me that it was about two hundred metres from the road, I think he should have added a nought because it was easily two kilometres really.

The story that Ali told me was that a man was running away with some gold that he had taken, not sure where from. He had the gold, all two hundred kilos of it, on the back of a camel. Sometime during his journey the camel broke a leg and couldn’t walk so he had to put it out of its misery. He was near a well at the time so he shoved the dead animal down the well, hid the gold in the wall of the well and filled it all in covering it so that you couldn’t see it. This all happened during the first world war, at a later date an Armenian man came into possession of a map which showed the location of the well and had apparently discovered it though he was unable to dig it out and get the gold. This Armenian man met Ali and gave him directions to the well with the exhortation to go there and get the gold for himself. Ali duly went and found the place, dug out the well but could not find the gold. He thought that I, being an older man from Europe, would have all the knowledge required to know how to find the gold. Well as everybody knows all Europeans are brought up on methods of discovering buried treasure so it should be easy shouldn’t it?

Anyway, back to the adventure. We were struggling on up when Ali stopped and said that we were on a camel trail. This was one of the many roads that criss crossed the land back when the camel caravans were the only way of getting goods across land. You could see quite plainly that it was a wide and easily followed trail. It conjoured up all sorts of images for me and I found it fascinating. You can see in the picture the nature of the wood that we were walking through, it is obviously ancient and unused forest apart from a few shepherds that graze their animals there.


When we got to the top of the ridge there was a well! Okay that surprised me a little. A well at the top of a ridge? You might expect one at the bottom but up at the top I found curious. Ali dismissed it and indicated that we should carry on. About a hundred metres further on there was another well. This one had been dug out of the rock and was bottle shaped inside. The rock was fairly soft but must have been a huge effort to dig out, it was about two and a half metres deep with a flat floor. Ali showed me how he’d had to line up two markers to find the well and then he and his brother had dug out all the rock and soil filling it up.


 He showed me what he said was a camel leg bone, and indeed it looked as though it could be, it was considerably more sturdy than any similar sized animal bone I had seen before. Being a European, you understand, I know about these things!

So what to do? Where to look? We tapped the walls of the well all round trying to find a hollow sounding place but none existed. Then I looked around the mouth of the well and noticed a curious looking hump of ground at the side. I hit it with the hammer and it sounded hollow. We dug at it for a bit, it was soft and seemed to have a hole underneath but with only a couple of hammers and a little hand shovel it was a waste of time. It was about that time that we heard movement in the trees a little way away from us and the sound of a woman’s voice. “Cobanlar” he said. Shepherds. I’d had enough by this time and suggested we come back another day with a couple of pickaxes and a proper shovels. He agreed but on the way back to the car he said that maybe we wouldn’t come back. We got back home at about one thirty and I gave the dogs something to eat and had my own lunch.

I don’t think I will be going back because I’m now sitting on a settee with my very painful knee strapped up. It was a good adventure though, and an interesting day, I saw a bit of Turkey that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. The forest had a very old feel to it, almost like you imagine the Wild Wood in Wind in the Willows to be. At night it would be really scary I would think, with little noises everywhere. I wouldn’t have missed it but once is enough.

Posted January 28, 2008 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

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