Recycling ancient artifacts can offer a fresh look at cultures past, and one artifact, a sword found more than 900 years ago, looks just like another medieval hobby item from the Year 1872: an expensive sword that you may have wanted to show off.
On Sunday, the British royal navy flagship the HMS Victory emerged from the Sound off Scotland. On its mooring, a rare treasure of the ancient cast-iron French embroidery known as tapestry has been on display.
But this magnificent sword is missing its handle, which could prove its age. It looks remarkably like modern brooches designed for chains and belts by Fibonacci, a sequence first discovered in 1483, the year that tapestry was discovered.
For this reason, the scallop-shell accenting the blade would be half turned, with traces of the metal corroded, according to many experts. “It’s a masterpiece of craftsmanship,” Maureen Russell, curator of equestrian displays at the Royal Scottish Academy, said in a video posted on the museum’s website.
The arrowheads in the sword appear to be from medieval swords. This means they were probably made around 1400, and some may have been inscribed with emblems of the crusader order the Knights Templar. The weapons were worn by knights who carried swords and landed them in battle. Some of these were taken from the front line on battlefields like the Black Sea.
What’s puzzling historians is that the sword had been hidden underwater for more than two centuries in the Sound off Scotland.
“It’s very distinctive in colour,” Sean Breen, who is in charge of the sea discoveries team at the Department of Archaeology in Stirling, Scotland, said in a video about the sword.
Hundreds of objects have been recovered from the sea off Scotland over the past year, part of the country’s strategy to reclaim its ancient heritage. The team found the tapestry itself in June.
A warrior may have used the sword as part of a tradition of bringing home the spoils of war. It looks like it was one of those blades.
About 15,000 items have been recovered from the country’s 6,000 square miles of coastline since 2012, said Breen, who declined to comment on the whereabouts of the sword.