The Old Sword and the Sea: A Medieval European Sword Off the Coast of Newe-Yam

Joppe Gosker, Jacob Sharvit, Izhak Hershko, Dan Braitman, Yotam Asscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines a sword discovered on the seabed near Newe-Yam, providing an analysis of its physical characteristics. The location of the discovery and the submarine iron corrosion processes are described. The sword, covered in a biogenic crust, was studied using non- and minimally invasive techniques, and compared with contemporary swords. A European origin and an approximate date in the twelfth–thirteenth centuries CE are proposed. The study also discusses the role of swords in Medieval European society, their association with authority and chivalry, and the romantic perceptions concerning Crusader swords.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-228
Number of pages18
Issue number111
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Israel Antiquities Authority. All rights reserved.


  • Crusades
  • Kingdom of Jerusalem
  • Medieval swords
  • X-ray radiography
  • iron corrosion
  • underwater archaeology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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