Science

Ancient Crusades-era sword found by diver off coast of Israel

An Israeli scuba diver has salvaged an ancient sword off the country's Mediterranean coast that experts say dates back to the Crusaders.

900-year-old, metre-long iron sword found in Mediterranean in area that sheltered ancient ships

900-year-old Crusader sword found off northern Israel

2 months ago
Duration 1:46
An Israeli scuba diver has found a Crusader-era sword in the Mediterranean sea near Caesarea, about 55 kilometres north of Tel Aviv, according to the Israeli Antiquities Authority. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) 1:46

An Israeli scuba diver has salvaged an ancient sword off the country's Mediterranean coast that experts say dates back to the Crusaders.

Israel's Antiquities Authority said Monday the man was on a weekend dive in northern Israel when he spotted a trove of ancient artifacts that included anchors, pottery and a metre-long sword.

The diver was about 150 metres off the coast in five-metre-deep water when he made the discovery.

Experts say the area provided shelter for ancient ships and is home to many archeological treasures, some dating back 4,000 years. But such discoveries can be elusive because of the constantly shifting sands.

Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a metre-long sword that experts say dates back to the Crusaders. It was on display in the Mediterranean seaport of Cesarea, Israel, on Tuesday. (Ariel Schalit/The Associated Press)

Fearing his discovery might be buried, the diver took the sword ashore and delivered it to government experts, the authority said. The weapon is estimated to be 900 years old.

"It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but is apparently made of iron," said Nir Distelfeld, an inspector in the authority's robbery prevention unit. "It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armour and swords."

The sword is to be cleaned and further analyzed, while the diver, identified as Shlomi Katzin, was given a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.

In this photo provided by Israel's Antiquities Authority, an ancient sword is seen after it was discovered by an Israeli diver off the country's Mediterranean coast near Haifa on Oct. 14, 2021. (Israel's Antiquities Authority/The Associated Press)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now