The Mekhitarist Monastery on Saint Lazarus Island. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Anton Nossik
One of the world's oldest swords has been discovered in a display cabinet at an Italian island monastery.
The ancient weapon, which had been on display at the Mekhitarist Monastery on Saint Lazarus Island, Venice, caught the eye of PHd student Vittoria Dall'Armellina from the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
While previous studies had concluded that the sword dated back to the medieval era, Dall'Armellina, who had studied for a masters degree in the origins and evolution of swords, was not convinced.
A detailed analysis later confirmed that her suspicions were correct - the weapon was in fact up to 5,000 years old - making it one of the oldest known swords anywhere in the world.
Researchers believe that the sword was not actually used in combat but was more likely a ceremonial blade that was part of a burial before being dug up by locals and sold on the black market.
Swords of this type were common in parts of Eastern Anatolia, however it is hoped that an analysis of trace elements in the blade will help to further pinpoint its origins.
Source: Heritage Daily | Comments (19)