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Culture

Hunting for buried treasure

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur waves a magnetic wand to find ancient objects hidden in the earth.

Photos: Hunting for buried treasure

Sheldon Breiner, an explorer, geophysicist and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, wields a magnetometer in search of artifacts hidden in the earth.

Credit: Sheldon Breiner


Photos: Hunting for buried treasure

The search for Ming pottery lost in a sunken Spanish galleon has brought Breiner to the west coast of Mexico.

Credit: Sheldon Breiner


Photos: Hunting for buried treasure

A map of magnetic readings shows spikes where concentrations of magnetite indicate the remnants of human activity.

Credit: Sheldon Breiner


Photos: Hunting for buried treasure

This fragment of a Ming dynasty bowl was found at Breiner's current dig.

Credit: Sheldon Breiner


Photos: Hunting for buried treasure

Earlier exploration in Mexico by Breiner and Yale archaeologist Michael Coe has turned up massive, 3,000-year-old Olmec heads.

Credit: Sheldon Breiner


Photos: Hunting for buried treasure

The field crew on the current Mexico dig gathers on the beach. Breiner is in the Stanford sweatshirt.

Credit: Sheldon Breiner