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The Jamacian government is allowing private organizations to hunt for priate treasure off the Jamacian coast, with the provision that half of the findings go to the government and all non-valuable items are turned over to a yet-to-be-constructed museum:

“We know we’re going to benefit,” said Susanne Lyon, executive director of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, the state agency overseeing the project.

But not everyone is pleased with the plan to dig up the past.

Henriques, a member of the Archaeological Society of Jamaica, said the project should be handled by an accredited archaeological group, not a profit-seeking foreign company.

He said Jamaican officials could learn from their counterparts in Egypt, where the government imposed strict limits on excavation after being pilfered by treasure hunters.

“All archaeology is really looking at is the frozen history of people,” he said. “If you just suck it out for the gold, you lose the story. And these stories are important, perhaps more important than the intrinsic value of the treasure itself.”

Of course, the issue here really isn’t the archaeology. Rather, this article merely reminds me that Sid Meier’s PIRATES! is supposed to be re-released later this year!

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