Diver Finds 900-year-old Crusader Sword in Mediterranean Seabed

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October 19, 2021

An amateur diver has discovered a 900-year-old sword off the coast of Israel. The sword likely belonged to a Crusader, officials said.

Crusader sword

Shlomi Katzin was diving off the Carmel coast, near the port city of Haifa, when he found the 3.3-foot-long iron sword, covered in barnacles, on the bed of the Mediterranean Sea.

Katzin, diving in 5.5-yard-deep water 170 yards offshore, also found pottery fragments and a number of anchors, of metal and stone. The movement of sands along the sea bed revealed the long-buried sword, which has a 1-foot-long hilt.

Armies from Europe marched into the Middle East several times for nearly two centuries, from 1095 to 1291, as part of the Crusades, a series of religion-based drives to retake what Christians call the Holy Land, which Muslim armies had conquered in the decades leading up to the end of the first millennium.

Nir Distelfeld, and inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), made the connection to the Crusades, citing the proximity to the Crusader fortress the Atlit castle, and said that the location has yielded other archaeological finds, some dating back 4,000 years. The IAA, which gave Katzin a certificate of good citizenship for turning the sword in, said that it would soon display the sword.

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