A sword believed to have belonged to a crusader who sailed to the Holy Land almost a millennium ago has been recovered from the Mediterranean seabed, thanks to an eagle-eyed amateur diver, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Monday, Oct. 18.
Though encrusted with marine organisms, the meter-long blade, hilt, and handle were distinctive enough to notice after undercurrents apparently shifted sands that had concealed it.
“Actually it’s heavy. It’s heavy because of the stones that are glued to it and also because it’s iron sword and very big one,” Yaakov Sharvit of the IAA said. “There are others, bigger than this one, like what we call two-hands sword, but this is still very heavy.
Video credit: Reuters
“That means that the guy that held this sword and fight with it was very strong. I’m trying to imagine him on the field with all the armor on him and the sword and fighting with it.”
Sharvit added, “He should really be in good fitness, maybe they were bigger than us today but definitely stronger. And it’s amazing.”
The location where the artifact was found, a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, suggested it had served as a shelter for seafarers, said Kobi Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archaeology unit.
“These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds,” he said.
The sword, believed to be around 900 years old, will be put on display after it has been cleaned and restored.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.