'Beautiful' 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by diver off the coast of Israel

By Bethany Dawson

A 900-year-old sword has been found by a scuba diver off the coast of Israel. 

The nearly 4-foot long iron sword, which had become home for a cluster of marine organisms, was thought to have belonged to a Crusader who sailed to the Holy Land in 1100 AD. 

Israel's Antiquities Authority said the diver was on a weekend dive in northern Israel when he spotted a trove of ancient treasures that included anchors, pottery, and a meter-long sword.

israel diver sword crusades
Yaakov Sharvit, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority's Marine Archaeology Unit, holds a sword that dates back to the Crusades. It was discovered by an amateur diver of the coast of Caesarea, Israel, October 18, 2021.
Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Experts say the area, a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, was used as a shelter for ancient ships and therefore is now the site of many archaeological finds.

To save the sword from being lost within the shifting sand, the diver took it ashore and delivered it to government experts at Israel's Antiquities Authority, according to AP. 

"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, told AP. "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."

israel diver sword crusades
A sword that likely belonged to a Crusader lays on the beach near to where it was recovered off the coast of Caesarea, Israel on October 18, 2021.
Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

The diver, Shlomi Katzin, has been given a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship after his historic find.

The Times of Israel reports that the Government has confirmed the sword will be displayed to the public once it is fully analyzed.