A SWORD that is likely to have been wielded by a Crusader knight nine centuries ago has been found in shallow water off the northern coast of Israel.
The heavily encrusted blade will now be cleaned and analysed by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) before going on display. It was found in a cove not far from Atlit, on the Carmel coast, where Crusaders first built a fortress in the early 12th century.
The weapon is made of iron, has a three-foot blade, a 12-inch handle, and weighs about 4 lb. It was preserved in perfect condition by a thick covering of sand, which is thought to have been disturbed by storm action.
It was found by a scuba diver, Shlomi Katzin, who was searching for ancient artefacts from ships that have sheltered in the natural anchorage for centuries.
The head of the IAA’s Marine Archaeology Unit, Kobi Sharvit (pictured), said that the unit would monitor the site in the coming months, as winter storms could expose more objects. “It could have been left following a shipwreck, or by a Crusader landing party.”