Diver Discovers 900-Year-Old Sword from the Crusades off Coast of Israel

A 900-year-old sword, along with a range of other objects from the same period, was discovered by a scuba diver off the shore of Carmel, northern Israel, giving insight into the role the area played in the Crusades. In some places of the Middle East, it appears as if you cannot dig a hole without unearthing something ancient, but going for a swim is a different story. Nonetheless, Shlomi Katzin went scuba diving near his Atlit house last Saturday and discovered stone and metal anchors on the seafloor, as well as pottery fragments and an entire meter-long sword.

Katzin believes that the currents and waves unearthed artifacts that had been buried for a long time. Fearing that what the waters offer may be taken away, Katzin promptly brought the sword onshore and handed it up to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) Robbery Prevention Unit, for which he earned a commendation for good citizenship. It does not appear like keeping the sword, let alone appointed a knight of wherever country the sword came from is on the cards. The 8-year-old girl who discovered a medieval sword in a Swedish lake, on the other hand, had to make do with internet queendom.

“The sword is a wonderful and unusual treasure that clearly belonged to a Crusader knight, and it has been preserved in pristine shape.” It was discovered coated with sea life but appears to be made of iron,” stated Nir Distelfeld of the IAA in a statement to IFLScience. “It’s thrilling to come across such a personal piece that transports you 900 years back in time to another age, complete with knights, armor, and swords.”

It is no surprise that Crusader ships visited the area. “The Carmel coast features many natural coves that provided refuge for ancient ships in a storm, as well as larger coves around which entire villages and ancient port cities like Dor and Atlit formed,” stated Kobi Sharvit of the IAA. “Through the years, these conditions have attracted trade ships, leaving behind a wealth of archaeological findings.” One such item is the sword that was just discovered.”

The finds made at the bottom of this cove reveal that it was utilized as a temporary shelter for taking shelter during bad weather as early as 4,000 years ago, though not always effectively.

Even after artifacts were discovered in June, and the IAA has been monitoring the site since then, the sands have continually hidden and uncovered objects. “Even the tiniest storm shifts the sand and exposes portions of the seabed while burying others,” Shavit explained. Professional groups lack the resources to keep a continual eye on places like this, making amateur divers a vital resource if they report their discoveries rather than attempting to steal them, as Katzin did. The sword, which most certainly dates from the Third Crusade, suggests that Crusaders used the cove in the 12th century. It will now be clean and analyzed for clues to narrow down its time and owner’s origins before shown in a museum.