Diver finds 900-year-old Crusader sword off coast of Israel

Diver finds 900-year-old Crusader sword off coast of Israel
·2 min read

An amateur diver exploring the waters around Haifa, Israel, found a medieval weapon.

Shlomi Katzin discovered what was determined to be a Crusader sword from around 1100 A.D. that reemerged from the shifting sands of the seafloor on Saturday after 900 years. He brought it to shore and turned it over to Israel’s Antiquity Authority, a move that earned him a certificate of good citizenship from the agency.


Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, holds a meter-long (yard-long) sword, that experts say dates back to the Crusaders, in the Mediterranean seaport of Cesarea, Israel, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. The Authority said Monday a scuba diver was on a weekend dive in northern Israel when he spotted a trove of ancient artifacts that included anchors, pottery and the sword. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) Ariel Schalit/AP

“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” said Nir Distelfeld, inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Robbery Prevention Unit. “It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but is apparently made of iron. 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.”

The weapon’s blade is over three feet long, and its hilt adds another foot.

Katzin found it among other objects such as stone and metal anchors and pottery fragments. The cove where it was found contains remnants from 4,000 years of human habitation, and the finding suggests that crusading knights from Europe used it to shelter their ships.

“The Carmel coast contains many natural coves that provided shelter for ancient ships in a storm, and larger coves around which entire settlements and ancient port cities developed, such as Dor and Atlit,” said Kobi Sharvit, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit. “These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds.”


The Antiquities Authority said divers coming across archaeological finds is an increasing phenomenon.

Swords pulled from bodies of water have made international headlines over the years.

In 2018, an 8-year-old Swedish girl found a sword predating the Viking era in a lake, and in 2017, a 7-year-old British girl pulled a prop sword from the lake where the legendary King Arthur is said to have thrown his sword, Excalibur.

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Tags: News, Israel, Weapons, History, Mediterranean Sea

Original Author: Virginia Aabram

Original Location: Diver finds 900-year-old Crusader sword off coast of Israel

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