Hidden Treasure

There’s something I find exciting about hidden treasure and I’m sure a lot of people share the same feeling. Maybe that’s why computer games like ‘Tomb Raider’ and movies like the ‘Indiana Jones’ series are so popular all over the world.

This article caught my attention over the weekend because of its links to hidden treasure and archaeology. There are not many expressions or idioms in it but there are some interesting words. The first of these appears in the title:

Hidden Gobi Desert relics found

A ‘relic‘ is an object from the past. It can also be an ancient tradition which continues to exist or an object related in some way to a holy person. In the above example, the objects found could be called ‘relics’ because they are ancient artefacts and belonged to a holy person.

The next two interesting words come in the second sentence where the author writes:

The historic artefacts were buried in the 1930s during Mongolia’s Communist purge, when hundreds of monasteries were looted and destroyed.

To ‘purge‘ is to remove something from a place where it is not wanted. In this case, the Communist government ‘purged‘ the area of religious objects and people because they were not considered part of the Communist ideal.

The other interesting word in this paragraph is ‘looted‘. ‘Looting‘ is when objects are stolen from a place during a war or riot.

The next word I would like to look at comes later in the text:

A total of 64 crates of treasures were buried in the desert by a monk named Tudev, in an attempt to save them from the ransacking of the Mongolian and Soviet armies.

To ‘ransack‘ is to steal things and cause a lot of damage to a place. When we use this word, it also implies there is some kind of time limit or that the people doing the ‘ransacking‘ are in a hurry.

Sometimes, we use ‘ransacking‘ in a more casual way to talk about searching for something in careless way when you are in a hurry. For example, I ransacked my house this morning looking for my keys. In the end, I found them in my pocket!

Have you ever found any hidden treasure?