An amateur diver found a 3-foot sword off the Israeli coast — and filmed his discovery. It dates back to the Crusades.

Last week, a diver discovered a sword and anchors that were 900 years old off Israel's Carmel coast.
The iron sword measures 3 feet in length and weighs 11 lbs. It was most likely a Crusader knight.

Israeli authorities released video footage of the diver's discovery.

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Shlomi Katzin wasn't expecting anything extraordinary during his dive off Israel's Carmel coast.

On October 9, the amateur diver was out exploring the waters of the area when he stumbled upon a huge sword covered in shells, marine life and 13 feet below the Mediterranean waves.

It measured more than three feet in length and had a hilt that was a foot wide. Katzin found large metal and stone anchors, as well as bits of pottery in a 1000-square-foot area of sandy bottom.

The diver took his treasure to the surface, fearing that shifting sands could bury it. He immediately contacted Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) to inform them. Israel has a law that requires artifacts discovered in the country to be turned over to authorities.

Shlomi Katzin, an amateur Israeli diver, holds the ancient sword that he found underwater on October 16, 2021. Nir Disteleld/Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

According to the agency, the iron sword dates back between the Crusades religious conflicts between Christians and Muslims in Middle East between 11th and 13th century.

Nir Distelfeld (inspector for the IAA's Robbery Prevention Unit) said Monday that the sword was in excellent condition and belonged to a Crusader Knight. It is thrilling to find such a personal object. This takes you back 900 years in time to another era with knights, armor, swords.

Katzin was able to record his own dive with a GoPro camera. Insider was able to share some of the footage with the IAA and post it on its Facebook page. It shows Katzin picking up the sword from the seabed, and uncovering several anchors while nearby lionfish watch. As he maneuvers with flippers, his breathing is a constant reminder of the discoveries he has made.

Katzin was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the agency for his good citizenship in return for the sword.

Ancient treasures are buried and unburied by storms, currents and waves

Shlomi Katzin, an amateur diver, discovered a 900-year-old sword underwater near Caesarea in Israel. Shlomi Katzin/Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Because the Carmel coast has a natural cove, local archaeologists have been watching the area Katzin dived from, which is approximately 650 feet away from shore. The IAA stated that ships have been moored here since the Crusades. This makes it a great place to search for artifacts.

However, fickle undercurrents or waves can constantly bury and unbury treasures such as those Katzin discovered.

Kobi Sharvit is the director of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit. This sword dates back to October 16, 2021. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Kobi Sharvit (director of the IAA's marine arheology unit), stated in the release that even the smallest storm can move the sand and reveal areas on the seabed, while burying others.

Sharvit claims that the anchors near the sword may be much older than the weapon from the Late Bronze Age, which dates back to 4,000 years ago.

Shlomi Katzin, an amateur diver, discovered an ancient anchor underwater near Caesarea in Israel. Shlomi Katzin/Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

It is possible that the layer of sand that covered the sword is what makes it so well-preserved.

Sharvit explained to CNN that because the sword was buried under the seabed, it wasn't exposed oxygen. This protected the sword from rust. It was still covered with shells and other bits marine life, but it weighed around 11 pounds at the time Katzin gave it back.

Sharvit stated that the sword is only likely to weigh 4.4 pounds.

Relic from the Crusades

Sharvit said that Katzin discovered the weapon in a cove about a mile from a Crusader fortress. Experts concluded that the sword belonged to a Crusader knight because of its large size and unusual shape.

On October 16, 2021, a 3-foot-long, shell-encrusted, sword believed to be belonging to a Crusader, was found near Caesarea in Israel. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Between 1096-1291, the Roman Catholic Church sent Christian armies to Christian holy sites in places like Jerusalem and Constantinople that were under Muslim control. Some battles occurred on Israeli beaches during the Third Crusade, as Richard I, an Englishman, traveled south along Carmel coast towards Jaffa to confront Saladin, a Muslim ruler.

The National Treasures Department of the IAA is currently examining the sword. The agency stated that the sword will be displayed once it has been thoroughly cleaned and examined.