Off the coast of Israel, near Mount Carmel, Israeli frogman Shlomi Kacin has retrieved a metre-long sword used during the Crusades from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.
Kacin, who lives in the settlement of Atlit near Haifa, noticed metal anchors, fragments of pottery, stones and a mysterious blade during the dive. The blade turned out to be part of “a sword that has been preserved in perfect condition and is a beautiful and rare find that certainly belonged to a Crusader knight,” the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) inspector said.
The weapon is made of iron and “inlaid with marine organisms”.
– The encounter with such a personal object is exciting, as it takes us back to another era – of knights, armour and swords, the IAA official told the Jerusalem Post.
– The sea coast at the site is full of small natural bays that provided shelter for ships during storms. Around the larger bays, settlements and port cities developed, including Atlit or Dor, explained the director of the IAA’s Maritime Archaeology Branch, Kobi Sharwit. He added that such conditions attracted merchant ships, which left behind numerous souvenirs that are now rich archaeological finds.
Locating historical remains hidden on the seabed is often challenging due to the constantly changing environment. This is why accidental discoveries can make a big difference, experts say.
– Underwater geodesy is dynamic, said Szarwit. – Even the smallest storm shifts sand and exposes some areas on the seabed, while burying others. Therefore, it is extremely important to report any finds that can be documented to get as much scientific data as possible, he explained.