A scuba diver discovered an ancient sword off Israel’s Carmel coast near the port city of Haifa. The iron sword is thought to have belonged to a crusader knight 900 years ago when the Crusaders were fighting Muslim forces for control over the Holy Land.
Eagle-eyed diver Shlomi Katzin stumbled upon the three-foot blade on October 18. Kobi Sharvit, the director of the Marine Archaeology unit at Israel’s Antiques Authority, believes that the shallow waters off Haifa once served as a shelter for seafarers.
“The archaeological finds at the site show that it served as a small, temporary natural anchorage for ships seeking shelter,” said Katzin in a statement.
“Identification of the various finds shows that the anchorage was used as early as the Late Bronze Age, 4,000 years ago,” he added. “The recent discovery of the sword suggests that the natural cove was also used in the Crusader period, some 900 years ago.”
A lucky 900-year-old find!
The rare sword remains in pristine condition despite being “encrusted with marine organisms,” announced the Authority’s chief inspector Nir Distelfeld.
The iron sword resurfaced from the Mediterranean seabed as a result of shifting sands and undercurrents. But Sharvit’s find came down to sheer luck and timing.
“Because of the dynamics of shallow water, the sand keeps moving,” Sharvit revealed. “Each time, a new area is exposed.”
The government experts will clean and restore the archaeological treasure before putting it on public display. Meanwhile, the diver received a “certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.”