The treasure of Almanzor

Almanzor

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Since I was a child, my grandmother has told me the story of a great-great-grandfather who lived the great adventure (and hardships) of searching for treasure. That was not a minor or fleeting thing, he spent years trying to find it. He spent weeks in the mountains until his supplies ran out, he returned to the village for more and back to the mine. He got so deep that he opened several galleries with pick and shovel. Almost always alone, sometimes accompanied by my great-grandfather or a family member who would lend himself. Imagining what must have happened in that place in those times is what has led me to try to clarify the matter.

Apparently it all started because he dreamed of a mountain that he had never seen in which a great treasure was hidden. Months later, when he was riding his horse through the mountains, he saw that same mountain before his eyes. As if that were not enough, a great snowfall had fallen that covered the entire ground, except for the part of the mountain where he had dreamed that the treasure was located. My great-great-grandfather interpreted that as a sign, a turning point in his life, and since then, while the forces accompanied him, he continued digging.

Looking for information on this I came to a 1985 article downloaded in PDF on a mobile 30 years after its publication. When I read the legend of the Almanzor treasure, I began to connect the dots: My hypothesis is that my great-grandfather could have heard the story in the cortijo de la Torre (where he worked since he was a child), that it would have haunted him for years and that it no snow in the area of ​​the mountain with which he had dreamed do the rest. Due to the dates I think it might even have coincided with the old man from Noalejo who told the story. But so that you can understand me, first I think you should read the article:

GALLARIN AND THE TREASURE OF KING ALMANZOR

Within the municipality of Noalejo, but very close to Arbuniel, is the Cortijo de la Torre, at the foot of the Atalaya hill, named for the small Arab construction that once stood on its top and from which today they are barely distinguished the ruined walls of its foundations. Not long ago, an old man from Noalejo told me the story of a certain Moorish king who inhabited these places and of a great treasure that this land keeps in his bowels.

At the time of the greatest Muslim splendor, this farmhouse was in the power of a Moor named Gallarin, who had appropriated an extensive territory throughout the region at the expense of the Conquest. Next to his place of residence and on top of a hill he had ordered the construction of a tower from where he could see a wide territory strewn with fortresses and watchtowers whose smoke warned him of the dangers of enemy incursions.

This Moorish gyrfalcon had the friendship and trust of a very important character, King Almanzor, that leader who had won more than eighty battles, and he frequently received visits from him in his hidden corner of Sierra M?gica. In one of them, Almanzor, as a premonitory gesture of the tragic end of him in Calata?azor, proposed to hide in some secret place of his property all the treasures that he had accumulated throughout his forays through the peninsular soil.

Thus it was that with the assistance of the closest subjects of Gallar?n they excavated a deep underground with suitable chambers where Almanzor was placing all his wealth. Among them stood out the nine horses loaded with gold and the famous necklace of the Queen of Naples, it also introduced abundant weapons, swords, mounts, etc., as if to provide a great army and, in addition, a portrait of all the Moors who during centuries they had crossed the strait to step on Spanish land (15). But once the work was finished and after the entrance to the cave was completely camouflaged, Almanzor rejected his friend and engineered a betrayal that ended with the death of Gallar?n and all his collaborators. He demolished his palace and the watchtower that he had built on the mountain, to such an extent that there was no trace that the land had been populated at any time.

It was not long when the Arab minister had to leave Segovian lands defeated and persecuted until he met death at the gates of Medinaceli, leaving his treasure anonymous forever.

According to my septuagenarian informant, that when he was young he had worked a lot in this farmhouse, a very wealthy woman lived near Cambil who was very friendly with the bishop of Ja?n. She often visited the prelate and brought him good gifts. On one occasion, the bishop, in return for her friendship, gave him a copy of the will of King Almanzor, which was in the Archives of the Jaen cathedral. The curious thing about this document was the precise description it gave of a very specific place located some thirty kilometers from the capital, and which according to a unanimous opinion could very well be a treasure.

This woman kept the document in her farmhouse with the idea of ​​one day paying a little attention to it, something that never happened, because soon after a serious illness ended her life. The farmhouse then passed into the hands of the patrons of my interlocutor and guide in this story, being present when the new owners discovered the document. They read it aloud, not at first understanding its meaning, and when they suspected what it might be they jealously guarded the paper where no one could find it. But they did not have the alert memory of her girl, that she learned the text in a row and that it would be as follows:

Five leagues from Ja?n, site of the Tower, the most important landmarks: the hill of the Cabras and the castle demolished in the watchtower that can see seven towers. The land that exists there has fingers and tips and stripes on the stones. A black tree with a very thick trunk and some sloes. Three stone mogotes made by human hands, one in front of Coloma and the others next to it. From one of them a stone track descends, when it ends, three meters in the direction of the rising sun, a stone as wide as it is long covers a hole and then a wide and long corridor, do not pay attention to what you see or hear Keep going until you see, at the end, two large poyos.

At first the investigations were directed to the castle of Arenas, in the term of Campillo de Arenas, where, according to what they say, more than a fortune has been wasted digging tunnels in the surroundings, and even the life of some unfortunate who risked it by going up its dangerous walls.

As nothing was found, the surveys changed scenery, taking place more recently in the Cortijo de la Torre, without us knowing of any important discovery to date.

The funny thing is that until relatively recently it was thought that Gallarin and his Tower were a Legend, but recently archaeologists in the area have discovered his Tower in a place that on ancient maps is known as the Gallarin Gorge. Other relevant details are that this tower is right on a mountain called Alta Coloma, as in the legend and that at about 90 degrees to the right there is a castle demolished on a Watchtower that is more than 1200 years old.

I have moved to live in this area and I have been investigating the place for a year. The area is full of signs such as ceramic remains from that time. There is also documentation on findings of coins and cemeteries carved in stone.

I have more information and even the translation of the document that was in the cathedral of Jaen, but I will reserve that for future publications if I see that the subject raises interest.

I am Spanish, sorry for my English.

Greetings from the land of Gallarin.
 

Crow

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Since I was a child, my grandmother has told me the story of a great-great-grandfather who lived the great adventure (and hardships) of searching for treasure. That was not a minor or fleeting thing, he spent years trying to find it. He spent weeks in the mountains until his supplies ran out, he returned to the village for more and back to the mine. He got so deep that he opened several galleries with pick and shovel. Almost always alone, sometimes accompanied by my great-grandfather or a family member who would lend himself. Imagining what must have happened in that place in those times is what has led me to try to clarify the matter.

Apparently it all started because he dreamed of a mountain that he had never seen in which a great treasure was hidden. Months later, when he was riding his horse through the mountains, he saw that same mountain before his eyes. As if that were not enough, a great snowfall had fallen that covered the entire ground, except for the part of the mountain where he had dreamed that the treasure was located. My great-great-grandfather interpreted that as a sign, a turning point in his life, and since then, while the forces accompanied him, he continued digging.

Looking for information on this I came to a 1985 article downloaded in PDF on a mobile 30 years after its publication. When I read the legend of the Almanzor treasure, I began to connect the dots: My hypothesis is that my great-grandfather could have heard the story in the cortijo de la Torre (where he worked since he was a child), that it would have haunted him for years and that it no snow in the area of ​​the mountain with which he had dreamed do the rest. Due to the dates I think it might even have coincided with the old man from Noalejo who told the story. But so that you can understand me, first I think you should read the article:

GALLARIN AND THE TREASURE OF KING ALMANZOR

Within the municipality of Noalejo, but very close to Arbuniel, is the Cortijo de la Torre, at the foot of the Atalaya hill, named for the small Arab construction that once stood on its top and from which today they are barely distinguished the ruined walls of its foundations. Not long ago, an old man from Noalejo told me the story of a certain Moorish king who inhabited these places and of a great treasure that this land keeps in his bowels.

At the time of the greatest Muslim splendor, this farmhouse was in the power of a Moor named Gallarin, who had appropriated an extensive territory throughout the region at the expense of the Conquest. Next to his place of residence and on top of a hill he had ordered the construction of a tower from where he could see a wide territory strewn with fortresses and watchtowers whose smoke warned him of the dangers of enemy incursions.

This Moorish gyrfalcon had the friendship and trust of a very important character, King Almanzor, that leader who had won more than eighty battles, and he frequently received visits from him in his hidden corner of Sierra M?gica. In one of them, Almanzor, as a premonitory gesture of the tragic end of him in Calata?azor, proposed to hide in some secret place of his property all the treasures that he had accumulated throughout his forays through the peninsular soil.

Thus it was that with the assistance of the closest subjects of Gallar?n they excavated a deep underground with suitable chambers where Almanzor was placing all his wealth. Among them stood out the nine horses loaded with gold and the famous necklace of the Queen of Naples, it also introduced abundant weapons, swords, mounts, etc., as if to provide a great army and, in addition, a portrait of all the Moors who during centuries they had crossed the strait to step on Spanish land (15). But once the work was finished and after the entrance to the cave was completely camouflaged, Almanzor rejected his friend and engineered a betrayal that ended with the death of Gallar?n and all his collaborators. He demolished his palace and the watchtower that he had built on the mountain, to such an extent that there was no trace that the land had been populated at any time.

It was not long when the Arab minister had to leave Segovian lands defeated and persecuted until he met death at the gates of Medinaceli, leaving his treasure anonymous forever.

According to my septuagenarian informant, that when he was young he had worked a lot in this farmhouse, a very wealthy woman lived near Cambil who was very friendly with the bishop of Ja?n. She often visited the prelate and brought him good gifts. On one occasion, the bishop, in return for her friendship, gave him a copy of the will of King Almanzor, which was in the Archives of the Jaen cathedral. The curious thing about this document was the precise description it gave of a very specific place located some thirty kilometers from the capital, and which according to a unanimous opinion could very well be a treasure.

This woman kept the document in her farmhouse with the idea of ​​one day paying a little attention to it, something that never happened, because soon after a serious illness ended her life. The farmhouse then passed into the hands of the patrons of my interlocutor and guide in this story, being present when the new owners discovered the document. They read it aloud, not at first understanding its meaning, and when they suspected what it might be they jealously guarded the paper where no one could find it. But they did not have the alert memory of her girl, that she learned the text in a row and that it would be as follows:

Five leagues from Ja?n, site of the Tower, the most important landmarks: the hill of the Cabras and the castle demolished in the watchtower that can see seven towers. The land that exists there has fingers and tips and stripes on the stones. A black tree with a very thick trunk and some sloes. Three stone mogotes made by human hands, one in front of Coloma and the others next to it. From one of them a stone track descends, when it ends, three meters in the direction of the rising sun, a stone as wide as it is long covers a hole and then a wide and long corridor, do not pay attention to what you see or hear Keep going until you see, at the end, two large poyos.

At first the investigations were directed to the castle of Arenas, in the term of Campillo de Arenas, where, according to what they say, more than a fortune has been wasted digging tunnels in the surroundings, and even the life of some unfortunate who risked it by going up its dangerous walls.

As nothing was found, the surveys changed scenery, taking place more recently in the Cortijo de la Torre, without us knowing of any important discovery to date.

The funny thing is that until relatively recently it was thought that Gallarin and his Tower were a Legend, but recently archaeologists in the area have discovered his Tower in a place that on ancient maps is known as the Gallarin Gorge. Other relevant details are that this tower is right on a mountain called Alta Coloma, as in the legend and that at about 90 degrees to the right there is a castle demolished on a Watchtower that is more than 1200 years old.

I have moved to live in this area and I have been investigating the place for a year. The area is full of signs such as ceramic remains from that time. There is also documentation on findings of coins and cemeteries carved in stone.

I have more information and even the translation of the document that was in the cathedral of Jaen, but I will reserve that for future publications if I see that the subject raises interest.

I am Spanish, sorry for my English.

Greetings from the land of Gallarin.

Gidday Amigo Almanzor

Please do continue posting amigo. I find the story fascinating and intriguing..There is book you might find very interesting as it might collaborate some parts of your story?

The life of the most illustrious monarch Almanzor and of the several revolutions of the mighty empire of the caliphs, and of the African kingdoms. Together with the history of the conquest of Spain by the Moors. Composed in Arabick by Abulcacim Tariff Abentariq, one of the Generals in that Spanish-Expedition; and translated into Spanish by Michael de Luna, interpreter to Philip the Second. Made English by an eminent hand. Luna, Miguel de, 16th/17th cent., Eminent hand.

Here is a picture of the book below.

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Here is the cover below.

attachment.php


Almanzor was significant figure in Spanish history.

attachment.php


Crow
 

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OP
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Almanzor

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Jun 1, 2021
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Thank you very much for your valuable contribution, Crow :) I did not know that particular book and I am trying to get a translation in Spanish. Although this treasure story does not seem to have attracted much attention, perhaps because Almanzor is not known on the other side of the ocean, I am going to put a little more meat on the grill.

Although I have handled many versions, for the purposes of the analysis that I will propose in this post I have selected two that represent two different and at the same time complementary views of the legend: a popular one, which occurs among ordinary people, and the other cultured, which has been made popular in a section of the intellectual class. It goes without saying that the popular-cult division responds here exclusively to methodological interests and does not contain any value judgments (popular-unpopular, cult-uneducated).
The version shared at the popular level, possibly the first I knew, was narrated to me in 1983 by an old man from Noalejo who worked as a young laborer in the Cortijo de la Torre, which is the farm where it is commonly accepted that the treasure.
Almanzor manuscrito.JPG
The cultured version, of which I had knowledge through the researcher Soledad L?zaro, was later completed for me by Enrique Escobedo Molinos, a well-known scholar of archeology from Sierra M?gina. Taking advantage of the friendship that unites us, I asked Enrique to put in writing what he knew and expressed his opinion about the legend, and he did so, even providing a photocopy of the manuscript that has circulated among the actors who are part of it.

I will use both versions to try to visualize the architecture of the legend, that is, to reconstruct its structure as a concrete cultural fact, which can help us defend some more complex issues such as:
-Cultural interdependence: the legend does not occur in the particular way in which it manifests itself if there are not in the culture the values ​​and beliefs necessary to sustain it.
-The legend is actually a meta-story, that is, a more or less idealized narrative of events that occurred in reality, although not in the literal way as historical research informs us. The difference with other forms of speech
narrative is that, in legend, the story is culturally adapted (the events, if they did not actually occur, are at least within what is accepted that it could have occurred).

In the popular version, the history of the treasure is based exclusively on tradition, with Gallar?n appearing as the central character along with Almanzor, and recounting an event romantic of great explanatory efficiency. The cultured version, on the other hand, provides very specific historical data on the possible presence of Almanzor in Ja?n and the alliances that he made with the
Berbers who obtained the Cora de Ja?n, suggesting the possibility that the treasure fell into the hands of a nephew of Almanzor, who settled in the lands of Jaen.
In the history of the manuscript there are profound differences between the popular and cultured versions. Although both place the cathedral archive as the starting scene, in the first one appears an intermediate character (the lady of Cambil who receives the bishop's legacy) and a main document (the will of Almanzor) of which the manuscript is a part. Both versions enrich the narrative with the mention of those who searched for the treasure without finding it.
b) The manuscript. In the popular version only indirect references appear: it is known because someone saw it or knows someone who had it, but it does not show itself physically, although the content is known in detail. In the case of the informant, I knew him from having heard him read from the owners of the farmhouse of which he was employed, being part of Almanzor's will,
that was given to a wealthy family in Cambil. Its content could be as follows: ?Five leagues from Ja?n, site of the Tower, the most important landmarks: the hill of the Cabras and the castle demolished in the watchtower that can see seven towers. The land that exists there has fingers and tips and stripes on the stones. A black tree with a very thick trunk and some sloes. Three stone mogotes made by human hands, one in front of Coloma and the others next to it. From one of them a stone track descends, when it ends, three meters in the direction of the rising sun, a stone as wide as it is long covers a hole and then a wide and long corridor, do not pay attention to what you see or hear, keep going until you see, at the end, two large columns.
The cultured version is much more specific and even provides a photocopy of a supposedly old document that was provided by the director of a historical archive in the city of Ja?n. The text is written in highly stylized capital letters, containing idioms and syntax from an undefined archaic age. Its content is as follows:
"IN THE TOWER LAS CABRAS FIVE LEGUAS TO JAEN TO THE PART WHERE THE SUN RISES YOU WILL FIND A CROWN CARVED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PE?A PE?A THAT IS LOOKING AT COLOMA UNDER AN ALMOND TREE WHOSE TRUNK OR BRANCH IS ON TOP OF A STONE AS A LID YOU WILL FIND A SMOOTH STONE WITH SOME SIGNS AS OF FINGERS BY ATAPADOR LEBADI?O BREAKS IT I WILL SEE A CAVE OF AMOUNT WIDTH I LENGTH FOLLOWS I ON TOP OF A FEW POINTS YOU WILL FIND MANY TREASURES OF THE KING ALMANZOR DE C?RDOBA, JAEN AND GRANADA. GOOD ADVENTURE YOU AND YOUR COMPANIONS NOT FEARING THINGS YOU SEE OR HEAR THAT EVERYTHING IS TO SUBJECT YOU ?.
Both texts have in common that they are written in code and that they describe an imprecise place as if it were a plane. There are many similarities between them, although the oral version is much more precise in detail than the written version. The presence of the written version on his part is a cultural imposition for the legend to have acceptance in the cultured context, which is where it only circulates. This circumstance necessarily introduces another debate (which we will avoid by departing from the object of this work) about the authenticity or not of the document, since, at least in the copy that is provided, there is more than enough evidence to classify it as an invention. which does not have why change the role it plays in legend construction. In any case, this is a debate that is kept alive among the actors themselves, serve as an example the fact that a well-known researcher, a great connoisseur of the cathedral archive, in a recent congress on traditional culture of Jaen, he gave very precise signs of the room and shelf where the manuscript was found when someone questioned its authenticity.
c) The actors. It refers to those who seek treasure. In the popular version there are a policeman and a bank employee from Noalejo, the owner of a bar in Campillo who is fond of archeology, a policeman from Granada and a landlord from Arbuniel. In short, a whole sample of local officials that make up the universe of curious people who in a town could have enough time and resources to undertake the adventure of the search.
In the cultured version, an architect appears, who gives news of the manuscript, a university professor and researcher who gives a clue to the document and an archivist who provides the copy.

This is the translation of the copy of Almanzor's will:

Almanzor manuscrito.JPG
 

KANACKI

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Hola amigo Almanzor

Thank you amigo for the interesting posts. I was one I have not heard of before.

You may also want to search Estoria de Espana. The legend of a defeat immediately prior to his death in a Battle of Calata?azor appeared first in the Estoria de Espa?a and was later adorned in other documents.

historia-de-espanna-920-min.jpg

The rarely seen document - an original fourteenth-century manuscript copy of a text written by Alfonso X el Sabio, King of Le?n and Castile in the 1270s - is part of the first major vernacular history of Spain written in Spanish.

The research team, led by Dr Aengus Ward, intends to work with those in the public with an interest in medieval culture and/or the Spanish language in the online transcription (copying) of the manuscripts.

Aengus Ward, Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Birmingham said: ?The Estoria de Espanna was the first, and is perhaps the greatest history of Spain to be composed in the vernacular. That?s what made digitising the manuscripts so important, and why showing members of the public how to transcribe it, and ultimately, to understand it, is so exciting.

It might be of great interest to find out more about the events following the death of Alamazor?

The dynasty Almanzor founded continued with his son Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar,and then his other son, Abd al-Rahman Sanchuelo, who was unable to preserve the inherited power, and was murdered in 1009. The fall of the Amiris set off the Fitna of al-Andalus, a civil war that resulted in the disintegration of the centralized Caliphate into regional taifa kingdoms.

Did Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar recover the treasure mentioned in his father's (Alamazor ) Will?

Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar took control of the Caliphate from his late father and Ruled successfully for another 7 years until his death in 1009 when the Caliphate descended into civil war.

Kanacki
 
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Almanzor

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Thank you very much for the book :) I have looked at it and it looks great :)
One interesting thing about this treasure is that it has probably been searched for centuries. And one of the most prominent characters is undoubtedly Menc?a de Salcedo, a servant of King Felipe II and Empress Isabel of Portugal, who used all her influence to take ownership of the site where the legend is located during the century XV. She was the owner of the land of the Legend and fought especially hard to maintain the part that was the Cortijo de la Torre de Gallarin. The elders say that she was looking for the treasure right at the top of the mountain above the Cortijo. By the way, this mountain appears on maps from 1752 as the peak of the Treasury.

If you remember the translation of Almanzor's testament it says like this:

“IN THE TORRE LAS CABRAS A FIVE LEGUAS FROM JAEN TO THE PART WHERE THE SUN RISES YOU WILL FIND A STONE CARVED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOUNTAIN SUMMIT THAT IS LOOKING AT COLOMA BELOW AN ALMOND TREE WHOSE TRUNK OR BRANCH IS ON TOP
FROM A CORNICE YOU WILL FIND A SMOOTH STONE WITH SIGNALS LIKE PRINTED FINGERS, BREAK IT AND YOU WILL SEE A CAVE OF THE SAME WIDTH AND LENGTH FOLLOW IT AND ON TOP OF A FEW PILLARS OF STONE YOU WILL FIND MANY TREASURES OF THE KING ALMANZOR AND YOU WILL BE YOUR TREASURE ALMANZOR COMEROS FROM GOODNESS. WITH THINGS YOU SEE OR HEAR THAT EVERYTHING HAS TO SUBJECT YOU ”.

Well, a few months ago I discovered what is possibly one of those attempts to recover the treasure:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZrIJ8y9XhibQFKRRIkQYpuc4ZjJ6nMIj/view?usp=sharing

This is right at the top and on the mountain called Pico del Tesoro, which is above the Cortijo de la Torre de Gallarin. The mountain seen in second 17 is Alta Coloma, the same one mentioned in the legend. The hole can be about 4 meters deep. You can't see the end as it makes a kind of elbow and seems to continue to deepen. Maybe one day I dare to go down. What is your opinion?
 

Crow

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Gidday Almanzor

Once again thank you for the interesting post.

I dare say you already had read the following below.

THE GALLAR?N TOWER BETWEEN HISTORY AND LEGEND.
Manuel Cabrera Espinosa and Juan A. L?pez Cordero. (In Sumunt?n. Journal of Studies of Sierra M?gina , no. 33, 2015. C?rcheles: Colectivo de Investigadores de Sierra M?gina, 2016, p.157-172)

Very interesting the ruins of the Gallarin Tower bellow.



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And of course that very interesting discovery below.

attachment.php



I cannot gauge the size of the entrance? How wide is the hole?

Judging from the information from the above mentioned Journal and what you told me at least 4 metres deep perhaps even deeper. It its quite possible that it just Karst ( Natural Sinkhole)? Karst is an area of land made up of limestone. Limestone, also known as chalk or calcium carbonate, is a soft rock that dissolves in water. As rainwater seeps into the rock, it slowly erodes. Karst landscapes can be worn away from the top or dissolved from a weak point inside the rock.

However it could be an entrance to a tunnel also. Definitely interesting Amigo.

Perhaps time to invest in a pipe camera amigo. This one has 30 metre cable perhaps enough to see down into the cavity and at least see it it continues? With these systems you can film and take pictures and record to a memory stick. Always better to risk a 30 metre cable than ones life is it not?

attachment.php


You certainly have an interesting story to research and a promising project.

Crow
 

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Curtis

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This is great history ! That may be the best treasure, finding out who was involved, and what happened, and letting others know. Treasure is not always the monetary kind. I do wish you well in your search. A word of caution, take some one you trust with you, or always have someone know where you are and when you expect to be back. It is easier than you may think to become trapped.
 

freeman

Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2003
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603
This is interesting because a few years ago I bought an 18th century ink drawing and reading this 'lost treasure legend' I immediately thought of it. I'll show it below.

The figures in it are dressed like Moors so with the watchtower in the background I assumed it was set in Moorish Spain.

It is obviously a tableau from a story where someone is explaining the meaning of the ruined watchtower in the background.

I wonder if this was an illustration of what was once a popular lost treasure legend?

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