Treasure-hunting Family Finds Gold Again

November 6, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. artifact /ˈɑr təˌfækt/ (n.) – an object that is culturally or historically important
ExampleArtifacts must be carefully handled to preserve their value.

2. unearth /ʌnˈɜrθ/ (v.) – to dig something up, especially from the ground
Example: They unearthed jewelry from the graves of old royal families.

3. sift /sɪft/ (v.) – to sort through something in order to find a particular object
Example: The explorers sifted every room in the old castle to look for treasure.

4. pyx /pɪks/ (n.) – a container specially used to hold the holy Eucharist
Example: The pyxes used in grand churches are always made of gold.

5. vast /vast, vahst/ (adj.) – being great in size or amount
Example: They travelled vast oceans before they found land.


Read the text below.
A family of treasure hunters found a priceless artifact from a 300-year-old shipwreck, marking their second discovery of lost treasure in the same spot.

Coming from two generations of treasure hunters, the Schmitt [shmit] family became well known last year when they unearthed Spanish gold coins in the Atlantic Ocean off a coast in Florida. The discovery was reportedly worth half a million dollars.  

In July, the Schmitts once again proved their commitment to the family business. While sifting the wreckage of a Spanish ship in the same location, Eric Schmitt found a piece of gold believed to be worth $600,000.

According to salvaging expert Brent Brisben [BRIZ-ben], the gold piece is a broken-off portion of a Spanish Catholic pyx. Brisben further added that the pyx might have been the property of a notable church official.

Veteran treasure hunter Rick Schmitt said that his family’s efforts and success were a reward in itself. Though he had spent decades searching for lost treasure in the same location, Schmitt was proud that it was his son, Eric, who found the priceless artifact.

Along with the gold coins the Schmitts found, the gold piece is believed to be part of the treasure carried by 11 Spanish ships, which were sunk by a hurricane in 1715. The Schmitts further claim that buried somewhere in the wreck are three large cases of jewelry supposedly owned by the Queen of Spain. These are just small portions of the vast treasures still scattered in the location, they said.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you also look for these treasures if you had the chance? Why or why not?
·         What do you think should be done with these priceless artifacts?

Discussion B

·         Do you consider treasure hunting an actual business? Why or why not?
·         Would you rather do business with your family or with someone who is not related to you? Why?

November 6, 2014