Crusader sword dredged from depths of history


Shlomi Katzin / Israel Antiquities Authority

A diver found this 900-year-old sword that dates back to the Crusades.

Gabriella Tapia '25, Staff Reporter

When Shlomi Katzin, a native of Altit, Israel, went on a weekend diving trip in a cove located in Haifa, Israel, he did not expect to find a 900 year old crusader sword among the sands of the Mediterranean Sea.

On his diving trip, he found it in the sand and to try and save it from being washed away, he brought it ashore and turned it over to Israel’s Antiquities Authority.

The IAA discovered that the sword is completely made of iron and it’s clearly visible in pictures that it has been fully covered by different marine organisms such as shells, mollusks, and all sorts of things.

This sword was dated back to the era of the Crusades and it was said that it was owned by a crusader sailing to the Holy Land.

Experts suspect that it was found there after King Richard I lead a militia against the Muslim sultan Saladin after the sultan retook Jerusalem back from the European nations in 1187 along the Israeli coast.

History teacher Mike Kennedy cited that there could have been several reasons for a crusader to be going to the Holy Land.

Such as “religious reasons passed an indulgence that if you fought some of your sins would be forgiven, and Europe was kind of a backwater and was involved in trade there or exploring the Holy Land.”

But, archaeologist Rafi Lewis claims that swords like the one that was found didn’t come into existence until the time of the Vikings in the 14th century.

“What they find depends on how long it was used.”

— Mike Kennedy, History Teacher

The cove that it was found in is near a port city and archaeologists had already been studying and observing this area because it was used to house ships thousands of years ago so it could be home to many more discoveries just like this one.

And, along with interchanging ocean currents, it makes it more likely for people to find things in the cove.

Kennedy said that “What they find depends on how long it was used.”

As proof, Katzin didn’t just find a sword. He also found a trove of treasures that held anchors and pottery.

These discoveries are truly amazing and soon anyone will be able to see them. The IAA plans to clean and study the sword and then put it on display for the public to see.