spectacular archaeological find of the 21st century -- billions in gold and
jewels uncovered in the secret sanctums of a centuries-old Indian shrine --
will soon be revealed to the public.
Last summer, archaeologists
opened the underground chambers of the 16th century Sree
Padmanabhaswamy Temple, located in Kerala province
in southern India. They discovered six chambers, labeling the vaults A
through F, with the help of temple priests. What they found was startling, according to initial reports: Sacks of diamonds and gold, coins dating
back hundreds of years, crowns and other antique jewelry, precious gemstones
wrapped in silk, and so on.
Vault B, which
is guarded by serpents according to local legend, has yet to be opened. But
those sepulchers that have been explored do contain gold statues, gems and
other items valued anywhere from a few billion to as much as $40 billion.
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