Photo credit: Shlomi Katzin / Israel Antiquities Authority
Scuba diver Shlomi Katzin discovered a 900-year-old iron sword that dates back to the third Crusade in the shallow waters off Haifa, Israel. Measuring 3.3-feet, it’s almost entirely encrusted with marine organisms and resurfaced after the shifting of sands caused by waves as well as undercurrents. The Crusades, which date back to 1096, were a set of military expeditions by Western European Christians that attempted retake the Holy Land in the Middle East after centuries of Muslim wars of expansion. Read more for a video and additional information.
Katzin feared that the sword might be buried again, so he immediately took it ashore and notified government experts. So far, no other details have been uncovered as the sword needs to first be cleaned for further analysis. However, we do know that the sword weighs between approximately 11-13 pounds due to the stones and shells, but around 2.2-4.4 pounds once everything is cleaned off.
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These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds. It’s heavy because of the stones that are glued to it and also because it’s [an] iron sword and very big. That means that the guy that held this sword and [fought] 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,” said Kobi Sharvit, who heads the IAA’s Marine Archaeology Unit.