An amateur Israeli scuba diver has made the find of a lifetime at the bottom of the Mediterranean, where he discovered a sword that experts say dates back to the Crusaders almost 1,000 years ago.
Shlomi Katzin was about 500 feet off the coast of Haifa when he spotted the 3-foot-long blade among a trove of ancient artifacts that also included anchors and pottery, Israel’s Antiquities Authority said Monday.
“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, armor and swords.”
Kobi Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archaeology unit, told Reuters that the natural cove where the items were found provided shelter for ancient seafarers. It is home to many archaeological treasures, some dating back 4,000 years.
“These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds,” he said.
The diver, who turned over the sword to government experts, was given a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.
The blade will be cleaned and restored before being put on display.