A scuba diver in Israel found an ancient sword believed to have been dropped by a Crusader knight (the Crusades lasted from around the years 1095 to 1291). It was Shlomi Katzin who discovered the 900-year-old sword at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea bed off of Carmel Beach. After he found the ancient weapon, he alerted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and was then given a certificate of good citizenship.
According to the IAA, the sword, which is thought to have been made of iron, was “encrusted with marine organisms”. The blade of the sword measures 1 meter in length (3.3 feet) with a hilt measuring 30 centimeters (1 foot).
Nir Distelfeld, who is the Inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority's Robbery Prevention Unit, described the item, “The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” adding, “It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor and swords.”
In addition to the sword, Katzin found several metal and stone anchors as well as pieces of pottery. The IAA explained that previous items found at the site seemed to indicate that ships looking for shelter had once used the cove as a natural anchorage area. It is thought to have been used for at least 4,000 years since the Late Bronze Age.
“These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds,” IAA general director Eli Escosido said. “The recently recovered sword is just one such find.”
Kobi Sharvit, who is the Director of the IAA Marine Archaeology Unit, noted that finding ancient artifacts on the Mediterranean Sea bed is not an easy task, “Even the smallest storm moves the sand and reveals areas on the sea bed, meanwhile burying others.” “It is therefore vitally important to report any such finds and we always try to document them in situ, in order to retrieve as much archaeological data as possible.”
After experts finish analyzing the sword in further detail, it will eventually be put on display for the public to view.
Several pictures of the sword can be seen here.