An amateur diver uncovered a Middle Ages sword off the shore of the Mediterranean. Experts think the location has a number of archaeological riches.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, an Israeli underwater diver recovered a historic sword said to have belonged to a medieval Crusader. The meter-long blade was found coated with marine life and laying on the Mediterranean bottom off the Carmel Coast in 5-meter-deep (16-foot-deep) water.
The guy, Shlomi Katzin, was on a weekend dive in northern Israel when he saw the sword’s characteristic hilt and handle after the undercurrent disturbed the sand that had been covering it. He took the sword and delivered it to government specialists, fearing that his find might be hidden or stolen.
“The sword is a wonderful and unusual find that clearly belonged to a Crusader knight,” said Nir Distelfeld, an inspector in the authority’s robbery prevention branch. “It’s fantastic to come upon such a personal piece that transports you 900 years back in time to a different age, complete with knights, armor, and swords,” he added.
Archaeological treasures are kept here. Aside from the almost millennium-old sword, the diver discovered a treasure trove of ancient items, including anchors and ceramics.
The discovery took place in a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, which experts believe acted as a sanctuary for seamen. “These circumstances have attracted commerce ships over the years, leaving rich archaeological artifacts behind,” said Kobi Sharvit, director of the authority’s maritime archaeology branch.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the location has been watched since June, but “the findings are quite elusive since they emerge and disappear with the movement of the sands.” Before it is displayed, the sword will be cleaned, repaired, and studied further. Katzin, who turned it over to authorities, was awarded a certificate of recognition for exemplary conduct.