Amateur diver pulls Crusader sword out of the seabed near Haifa
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Amateur diver pulls Crusader sword out of the seabed near Haifa

The weapon is encrusted with marine organisms, but experts are confident that a metre-long blade, hilt and handle will emerge once cleaned up

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

This is a Crusader’s sword found in the sea off the coast of Haifa.

Almost a millennium ago after he would have set sail for the Holy Land, the weapon was recovered from the Mediterranean seabed thanks to a sharp-eyed amateur diver.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday that although it was encrusted with marine organisms, the metre-long blade, hilt and handle were distinctive to notice.

It appears it was spotted after undercurrents shifted sands on the seabed that were concealing it.

Yaakov Sharvit from the Israel Antiquities Authority

The location, a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, suggests it had served as a shelter for seafarers, said Yaakov Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archaeology unit.

“Actually it’s heavy”, Sharvit said while holding the sword and talking about the Crusader knight who had probably fought with it.

“I’m trying to imagine him on the field with all the armour on him and the sword and fighting with it. He should really be in good fitness, maybe they were bigger than us today but definitely stronger. And it’s amazing.”

The sword, believed to be some 900 years old, will be put on display after it is cleaned and restored, the authority said.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments