An amateur diver has dredged out a 900-year-old sword from the bottom of the sea which is thought to have once been wielded by a knight of the Crusades.
Shlomi Katzin discovered the medieval weapon when he was diving in shallow water off the Israeli coast near Haifa on Saturday, October 16.
The 130-centimetre long blade was found encrusted with barnacles but in good nick.
Katzin handed the relic to the Israel Antiquities Authority, where it will be restored and then eventually put on display.
Nir Distelfeld, the inspector of the Department of Robbery Prevention at the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the sword was in mint condition and made of iron, indicating its 900-year-old age, reports LAD Bible.
Distelfeld said: "The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a crusader knight.
"It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armour, and swords."
The Crusades were a string of bloody and brutal wars between Christians and Muslims starting in 1096 and lasting centuries as both sides tried to claim holy sites in the Middle East.
On the same dive, Katzin discovered a number of other ancient artefacts including stone anchors and bits of ceramics.
This is due to sands shifting on the seabed, which quite literally has unearthed the ancient objects, experts reason.
Kobi Sharvit, director of the authority's marine archaeology unit, said: "These conditions have attracted merchant ships down the ages, leaving behind rich archaeological finds.
"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."
He continued: "The discovery of ancient finds by swimmers and leisure divers is a growing phenomenon in recent years, with the increasing popularity of these sports.
"Even the smallest storm moves the sand and reveals areas on the seabed, 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."
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