The remarkable Excalibur-like sword, found at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Israel, is believed to have belonged to a Holy Land Crusader living a millennium ago.
“It’s heavy!” smiles Yaakov Sharvit, director of Israel Antiquity Authority’s marine unit. In his hands, Sharvit holds a sword from some 900 years ago. The centuries-old weapon boasts a 3-foot-long blade and an impressive hilt not unlike King Arthur’s Excalibur.
Sharvit holds this sword because of one man’s fantastic find. Hobbyist diver Shlomi Katzin found the artifact off the coast of Israel on the morning of October 16. It was a Saturday he’ll never forget.
The sword’s resting place held other antiquities on the seafloor. But it’s the Crusader’s weapon specifically that has sparked the imaginations of curiosity-seekers across the globe.
“It’s heavy because of the stones that [the barnacles] glued to it,” Sharvit continues. The Excalibur-esque blade remains covered in barnacles and hardened seafloor particles, giving it further mystique. But Sharvit says the weapon is also heavy “because it is an iron sword, and a very big one.
“That means the guy who held this sword, and fought with this sword, was a very strong one,” he continues. Sharvit’s excitement to uncover the ancient weapon beneath – and more about this “guy” – is gleefully obvious, too.
“We have to clean it…And then we will get some more information about the sword. Maybe there is a name on it. Maybe there is some decoration. And this will also give us more information about the knight who held this beautiful sword,” he smiles.
Watch: Ancient Sword Discovered at the Bottom of the Sea Evokes Excalibur
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 thanks to a sharp-eyed amateur diver.The Guardian
After his discovery, diver Katzin would hand the ancient sword over to the Israel Antiquities Authority. In return, he now holds an Israeli certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.
According to the inspector of the Department of Robbery Prevention at the Israel Antiquities Authority, Nir Distelfeld, the sword remains “in perfect condition” underneath it’s sea-crusting.
“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a crusader knight,” Distelfeld adds in a statement. “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.”
So far, however, the plan is not to return Excalibur to King Arthur in Avalon, his eternal resting place. Instead, Mr. Katzin’s find will be cleaned, preserved, and then go on display for all to see.
Hopefully, Katzin can at least be knighted with the sword before it finds its own eternal resting place. He’s certainly deserving.