A diver in Israel discovered a 900-year-old sword off the country’s Mediterranean coast that experts say probably belonged to a crusader knight.
The man, identified as Shlomi Katzin, was diving in northern Israel on Saturday when he came across a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, including pottery, anchors and the nearly 4-foot-long sword , the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday.
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The diver brought the sword back to shore – fearing the find might be buried – and turned it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Northern District Theft Prevention Unit inspector.
“It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but it is apparently made of iron,” Nir Distelfeld, an inspector with the authority’s theft prevention unit, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “It’s exciting to encounter such a personal item, taking you 900 years in time to another era, complete with knights, armor and swords.”
The area where the sword was found is said to have served as a shelter for ancient ships and is the source of many archaeological treasures dating back thousands of years.
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“Archaeological finds at the site show that it served as a small, temporary natural anchorage for ships seeking shelter. Identification of the various finds shows that the anchorage was used as early as the late Bronze Age, ago 4,000 years ago. The recent discovery of the sword suggests that the natural cove was also used during the Crusader period, around 900 years ago, ”said Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archeology Unit of the ‘Israel Antiquities Authority, in a statement posted to Facebook with video of the sword and other artifacts.
The Crusades took place from the end of the 11th century to the end of the 13th century.
The shell encrusted sword needs to be cleaned and analyzed further.
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Katzin received a Certificate of Appreciation for Good Citizenship.
Israeli law requires that all found objects be returned to the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report