From Publishers Weekly
Tompkins Square Park, in New York City's East Village, has produced coin recoveries dating back to the 1830s. A construction site in Philadelphia recently yielded ceramic perfume containers and embossed pipe bowls from the 1860s. "Urban treasure hunter" Chaplan explains how to find, unearth and identify valuable artifacts like these in this how-to manual. He provides information on dealing with curious onlookers and fitting into a neighborhood (in "upscale" areas, dress like a jogger; in "tough areas," wear camouflage items and worn jeans), covers legal issues, provides a surprisingly scholarly and in-depth lesson in archeology and details how and where to search for and clean old coins, bottles and historical and prehistoric artifacts (he also gives tips on how to cash in on this hobby). Chaplan peppers his text with quotations from fictional and real adventurers, from Sherlock Holmes to Rudyard Kipling, and includes do-it-yourself instructions for building a sifter and even setting up an electrolysis device for cleaning unearthed metal objects. Chaplan's enthusiasm enlivens the extensive, solid factual information, and although his comparison of urban treasure hunters to history's swashbuckling explorers is a bit exaggerated, stories of his own hunting experiences in the greater New York area, as well as tales of discoveries of booty in unexpected places, prove his point that adventures and buried treasure are closer to home than most would expect.
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"From research to recovery, to conservations and cashing in...it's all here...Well written, profusely illustrated, eye-opening and encouraging, The Urban Treasure Hunter
is both a reliable guide and a great read." (Western & Eastern Treasures