A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Scuba diver finds 900-year-old Crusader sword off Israel coast

Scuba+diver+finds+900-year-old+Crusader+sword+off+Israel+coast

Picasa

Nicky Blackburn, Israel21c

If there’s proof that you can’t go anywhere in Israel without stumbling on some kind of ancient artifact, it’s got to be the news this morning that a scuba diver has discovered an ancient Crusader sword on the sea bed off the Carmel coast.

Diver Shlomi Katzin with the sword. Photo by Nir Distelfeld, Israel Antiquities Authority

Atlit resident, Shlomi Katzin was diving off the coast at the beach in Carmel on Saturday when he spotted ancient artifacts lying on the sea bed, uncovered apparently by shifting sands.

Katzin saw ancient stone anchors, anchors made of metal pottery fragments, and a sword with a one meter long blade and a hilt measuring 30 centimeters.

He took the sword ashore, fearing that the find might be stolen or buried once more by the sands, and reported it to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Crusader sword lying on the sea bed. Photo by Shlomi Katzin

“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” said Nir Distelfeld, Inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Robbery Prevention Unit.

“It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but is apparently made of iron. 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.”

The hilt of the ancient sword. Photo by Shlomi Katzin

The sword was discovered in a natural anchorage that has been in use as a temporary natural shelter for ships from the Late Bronze Age, 4,000 years ago, according to Kobi Sharvit, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit,

“The recent discovery of the sword suggests that the natural cove was also used in the Crusader period, some 900 years ago,” said Sharvit.

The ancient anchor discovered off the Carmel coast. Photo by Shlomi Katzin

Archeologists have been monitoring this particular spot on the Carmel coast since an earlier discovery in June this year. Finds are elusive, however, as they appear and disappear with the shifting sands.

“The Carmel coast contains many natural coves that provided shelter for ancient ships in a storm, and larger coves around which entire settlements and ancient port cities developed, such as Dor and Atlit,” explains Sharvit.

“These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds.”

Another ancient find spotted by Shlomi Katzin at the same time. Photo by Shlomi Katzin

The sword has been handed over to the National Treasures Department, and Katzin was awarded a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship. Once the sword has been cleaned and researched in the Israel Antiquities Authority’s laboratories, it will be displayed to the public.

“The discovery of ancient finds by swimmers and leisure divers is a growing phenomenon in recent years, with the increasing popularity of such sports,” says Sharvit.

“Underwater surveying is dynamic. Even the smallest storm moves the sand and reveals areas on the sea bed, meanwhile burying others. It is therefore vitally important to report any such finds and we always try to document them in situ, in order to retrieve as much archaeological data as possible.”

If you are interested in history and archeology watch out for our new video on Crusader Israel coming out in the next two weeks.

Navigate Left
  • Harriet Woods, Sue Shear and Sydell Shayer

    Jewish History

    Woods, Shear and Shayer honored in new book for their to dedication voters

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN05)

Kristie Boyd; U.S. House Office of Photoraphy

Public domain

    Top Story

    Rep. Omar co-sponsors Israel resolution as GOP majority votes to remove her from House committee

  • Images courtesy of St. Louis Jewish Film Festival.

    Arts + Entertainment

    Here’s what’s playing at this year’s St. Louis Jewish Film Festival

  • Adolf Eichmanns audio confessions to the orchestration of the Final Solution can be heard for the first time in The Devils Confession.(Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video)

    Arts + Entertainment

    Docuseries with never-before-heard confessions from Adolf Eichmann comes to Amazon Prime Video

  • What you need to know about Tu Bshvat 2023

    Jewish Holidays

    What you need to know about Tu B’shvat 2023

  • Photo Courtesy of Beckie Jacobs.

    Jewish Food

    A bit of Jewish ice cream history to get you ready for “Ice Cream for Breakfast Day”

  • Leo Sirota (sitting) and his students posing for photographs at the Sheldon Memorial. Photo by Sievers Studio, June 1951. Missouri Historical Society Collections.

    Do You Know This Jew

    Do you know this Jewish St. Louisan? He lived an exciting and tumultuous life

  • Jayne Langsam (L) and Rebecca Langsam (R).

    Books

    Battling illiteracy is a family affair for Ready Readers’ Jayne Langsam

  • Dec 25, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard (0) dribbles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Antisemitism

    NBA player Meyers Leonard opens up on his antisemitism scandal to Jewish ESPN reporter

  • Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum.

    Local news

    JFS striving to help St. Louis Holocaust survivors age with dignity

Navigate Right
Activate Search
A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.