Diver finds crusader sword off Israel’s coast

Yaakov Sharvit of the IAA holds a sword believed to have belonged to a Crusader who sailed to the Holy Land almost a millennium ago, Caesarea, Israel October 18, 2021. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A sword believed to have belonged to a crusader who sailed to the Holy Land almost a millennium ago has been recovered from the Mediterranean seabed by an eagle-eyed amateur diver, according to Israel’s authorities.

Though encrusted with marine organisms, the meter-long blade, hilt and handle were distinctive enough to notice after undercurrents apparently shifted sands that had concealed it, Reuters reported.

The location, a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, suggested it had served as a shelter for seafarers, said Kobi Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archaeology unit.

“These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds,” he said.

The sword, believed to be around 900 years old, will be put on display after it has been cleaned and restored.

The Crusades, which began in 1095 and lasted for centuries, saw European Christians travel to the Middle East to try and seize control of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land from Muslims.

Israel’s Antiques Authority (IAA) said once cleaned and analyzed it would be put on public display.

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