On the ocean floor, a diver discovers a 900 year old object – “in perfect condition”.
Kassel / Tel Aviv – You really don’t find something like this every day. A hobby diver from Israel accidentally discovered a 900 year old crusader sword in the Mediterranean Sea. The sword with its one meter long blade and a 30 centimeter long handle was on the seabed off the coast south of Haifa, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Monday (October 18, 2021).
“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and obviously belonged to a crusader,” said Nir Distelfeld from the Antiquities Authority, which is responsible for enforcing the laws protecting archaeological finds and antiquities. Both Christian crusaders from Europe and Arab soldiers fought with swords that resemble the shape of the find. However, since the Arab fighters did not travel by ship, archaeologists suspect that it once belonged to a crusader.
Sensational find in the sea: diver finds 900 year old sword from the time of the crusaders
When it was found, the sword was encrusted with marine organisms. The find itself is apparently made of iron. “It’s exciting to come across such a personal item that takes you back 900 years into another time, with knights, armor and swords,” says Distelfeld, who works as an inspector.
The section of coast near Caesarea south of Haifa, with its natural bays, served ancient ships as a refuge in storms, the message says. According to this, historical coastal cities emerged in larger bays. These in turn would have attracted traders with their ships, which left rich archaeological finds. At the place where the sword was found, there is evidence that it was used as an anchorage 4,000 years ago. “The recently recovered sword is just one of those finds,” added Kobi Sharvit, agency director for marine archeology.
The ancient authorities have been monitoring the place where the sword was discovered since June. But “the finds at the place are very fleeting because they appear and disappear with the movement of the sand,” says the message. The diver discovered the sword 150 meters from the coast and four meters below the surface on Saturday and took it with him – out of concern that it could be stolen or covered by sand again. Then he handed it over to the authorities. As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the diver saw other objects in addition to the sword, including ceramic fragments and metal anchors. (lrg / dpa)
Headline list image: © Jack Guez / AFP