Scuba diver finds 900-year-old Crusader sword off the coast of Israel

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(Granthshala) – 900 years old found by a scuba diver Warrior three-foot-bladed sword from the shore of Israel.
Amateur Diver Saw Sword and Other Antiques artifacts On the seabed off northern Israel, according to a statement by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) published on Monday.

He was diving on October 9, when he saw the sword, which contained stone anchors, metal anchors and pieces of pottery.

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The IAA said the artifacts were “clearly exposed by waves and undercurrents, which moved the sand.”

The edge of the sword is three feet long.


Ariel Shalit / AP

Before being handed over to the IAA, the diver took the sword to the surface so that it could not be stolen or re-covered.

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Kobi Sharvit, director of the IAA’s Marine Archeology Unit, told Granthshala on Tuesday that the sword was found at a depth of four meters (13 feet), 200 meters (656 feet) off the coast.

Its size and shape suggest it belonged to a Crusader, as does the fact that it was found just a few kilometers from Atlit castle, a Crusader fortress, Sharwit said.

From 1096 to the end of the 13th century, the Crusades were a set of military campaigns by Western European Christians aimed at reclaiming the Holy Land in the Middle East after centuries of expanding Muslim wars.

Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, poses for a picture with Talwar.

Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, poses for a picture with Talwar.

Ariel Shalit / AP

Inspector Nir Distelfeld of the IAA’s Robbery Prevention Unit said the sword is a rare find that has been preserved in perfect condition.

“It was found surrounded by sea creatures, but apparently made of iron,” Distelfeld said in the statement.

“It’s exciting to encounter such a personal item, which transports you to a different era, 900 years ago, with knights, armor and swords.”

Sharvit told Granthshala that the sword is well preserved because it was buried in a deep layer of sand without oxygen.

The stones and shells on the sword will be cleaned.

The stones and shells on the sword will be cleaned.

Ariel Shalit / AP

He said it currently weighs about 5–6 kg (11–13 lb), due to the protrusion of stones and shells, but the sword probably weighs 1–2 kg (2.2–4.4 lb).

According to the IAA, the region’s coastline has several natural creeks that provided shelter for ancient ships, and settlements such as Dorr and Atlit developed around the larger creeks.

That means the area was popular with merchant ships – and that means a wealth of potential archaeological finds.

The site has been monitored since June, when some of the artifacts were first discovered by members of the public. But the movement of the sand means the artifacts are “very elusive,” according to the statement.

“Our work is really like a puzzle,” Sharvit told Granthshala, explaining that even small storms can move sand around and uncover new objects.

Other artifacts recovered from the site show that it was used by ships seeking shelter in the Late Bronze Age, about 4,000 years ago, Sharvit said.

He told Granthshala that the team will be monitoring the site closely in the coming months.

It is “very strange to find only one artifact” from the Crusader period, he said, explaining that the sword may have been left behind by a shipwreck, or a Crusader landing party.

He said winter storms could uncover more artifacts, and archaeologists would conduct further surveys in the area.

In the meantime, the sword will be sent to IAA laboratories to be cleaned, said Sharvit, who hopes to learn more about its history when the metal appears.

IAA Director-General Eli Escocido said: “Once the sword has been cleaned and researched in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority, we will ensure that it is displayed to the public.”


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