In 1590, a Portuguese man by the name of Jose da Silvestra, created a map on a piece of linen, and gave it to a servant who took it from his dying hands, in an obscure place in Africa. The servant took the linen, and delivered it to Silvestra’s family. Three hundred years later, one of Silvestra’s descendants attempted to follow the map to its destination: the long lost Mines of King Solomon.
This map was later entrusted to Allan Quartermain to assist him in leading an expedition to rescue a lost brother, who had disappeared while attempting to locate the vast riches promised by the mines.
The map, when translated into English, reads as follows “I, José da Silvestra, who am now dying of hunger in the little cave where no snow is on the north side of the nipple of the southernmost of the two mountains I have named Sheba’s Breasts, write this in the year 1590 with a cleft bone upon a remnant of my raiment, my blood being the ink. If my slave should find it when he comes, and should bring it to Delagoa, let my friend (name illegible) bring the matter to the knowledge of the king, that he may send an army which, if they live through the desert and the mountains, and can overcome the brave Kukuanes and their devilish arts, to which end many priests should be brought, will make him the richest king since Solomon. With my own eyes have I seen the countless diamonds stored in Solomon’s treasure chamber behind the white Death; but through the treachery of Gagool the witch-finder I might bring nought away, scarcely my life. Let him who comes follow the map, and climb the snow of Sheba’s left breast till he reaches the nipple, on the north side of which is the great road Solomon made, from whence three days’ journey to the King’s Palace. Let him kill Gagool. Pray for my soul. Farewell.
José da Silvestra.”
Various tests have agreed that the item is created on linen, but, have not been conclusive on the age of the artifact, nor on the substance of the ink. The item was entrusted to a prominent member of the Society, and it is with the permission of the member’s family that the item is now on display. They will neither confirm or deny the continued existence of a place called “Kukuanaland,” nor the existence of a vast treasure in diamonds.