From the time humans first saw the wink of a gemstone or the glint of gold, they have desired to possess that rare and costly beauty for their own.
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The excavation of a sacred pyramid is turning up clues to the empire's bloody rituals—but so far, no sign of its most feared emperor.
Five centuries ago a ship loaded with gold wrecked off a beach laden with diamonds.
Tang Dynasty Wreck
Goods from the Belitung ship exemplify the creativity and craft that flourished in Tang-dynasty China.
Slovenia River Expedition
Why did Romans, Celts, and even prehistoric settlers submerge their personal belongings, from swords to dishes, in a shallow river in Slovenia?
Bulgaria Gold Rush
The race is on to uncover the golden splendors of Bulgaria's Thracian past before sites are looted.
Archaeologists search a North Carolina wreck for clues to the ruthless man behind the heartless pirate.
King Tut Revealed
Egypt's most famous pharaoh, King Tut has held us in awe since the discovery of his tomb in 1922.
Lost Gold of the Republic
In 1865, the S.S. Republic sank in a hurricane, sending a hoard of gold and silver coins to the bottom of the Atlantic.
Valley of the Kings
Decades of excavation in the necropolis near Luxor have turned up treasures like Tutankhamun's gold mask.
At the Tomb of Tutankhamun
See photos from the original 1923 National Geographic story revealing the discovery of King Tut's tomb.