An ancient sword, found by a scuba diver off the coast of Israel, may have been dropped in the sea by a Crusader knight 900 years ago, researchers claim.
The 3ft long weapon was found on the Mediterranean seabed encrusted with marine organisms, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Its hilt and handle were distinctive enough for the ‘eagle-eyed’ amateur diver to notice, after undercurrents apparently shifted sands that had concealed it.
The sword was found in a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, which may have served as a shelter for seafarers, according to Kobi Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archaeology unit.
‘These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds,’ he said.
The sword, believed to be around 900 years old, will be put on display after it has been cleaned and restored.