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Old 18th October 2021, 01:30 PM   #1
AHorsa
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Default Cruisader sword found in Isreal

FYI:

https://www.jpost.com/archaeology/90...s-coast-682306

Kind regards
Andreas
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Old 18th October 2021, 02:08 PM   #2
fernando
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Great find. Thanks for sharing the info, Andreas .
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Old 18th October 2021, 08:04 PM   #3
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Everyone’s dream
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Old 19th October 2021, 01:13 PM   #4
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Let us see how it looks, after being stripped from all that incrustation.
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Old 20th October 2021, 02:27 PM   #5
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Let us see how it looks, after being stripped from all that incrustation.
Perhaps not very much left. That's a long time under water. Preliminary x-ray studies would show some details before trying to uncover (and maybe destroying) what's left of the original sword.
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Old 20th October 2021, 02:50 PM   #6
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So what we have is somehow a 'would be' sword. However in one of the articles they say that it will be displayed to the public 'after being cleaned'.
Have i heard that bronze is easier to recover than iron ...
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Old 20th October 2021, 05:15 PM   #7
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It will be fascinating to follow the conservation of this sword, which will of course take some time if done properly. Like most artifacts recovered from shipwrecks, they must be kept in tanks with very gradual removal of concretions. What has preserved the iron within (hopefully) is that concretion which has sealed it away from oxygen, which is necessary for the corrosive process. Often in these cases the object encased will either disintegrate or possibly have already gone, with its impression cast in the concreted material.

There have been relatively few crusades period swords found in situ, and I think the last I ever heard of was Artzi's around 2008.
Most others known were held in arsenals, and sadly there were enormous numbers scrapped in the years after the crusades.

Interestingly during the late 18th into 19th century, many swords of these periods were piled into surplus stores and many were dispersed, through Malta, into North Africa. There was a time when many of these turned up on native swords in the Sahara and in the 19th century in the Sudan, but those have pretty much been collected up (Briggs, 1965).
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Old 20th October 2021, 05:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
... Like most artifacts recovered from shipwrecks, they must be kept in tanks with very gradual removal of concretions. What has preserved the iron within (hopefully) is that concretion which has sealed it away from oxygen, which is necessary for the corrosive process. Often in these cases the object encased will either disintegrate or possibly have already gone, with its impression cast in the concreted material...
Well put, Jim. Diverting a bit, a friend of mine and his group of amateur divers found a few years ago a couple cannons and an anchor in an underwater place nearby, having only recovered the one bronze cannon and leaving behind the iron one and the anchor. They realized they didn't have the know how and the means to recover the iron pieces without risk of desintegration. I think the two items still reside in the same (rocky) place, some 200 yards from the shore.
On the other hand this cruzader sword looks to be well encapsulated by a dense layer of crustaceans; and will be handled by experts ... assuming inside such capsule there is a real sword .
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Old 20th October 2021, 09:44 PM   #9
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Well put, Jim. Diverting a bit, a friend of mine and his group of amateur divers found a few years ago a couple cannons and an anchor in an underwater place nearby, having only recovered the one bronze cannon and leaving behind the iron one and the anchor. They realized they didn't have the know how and the means to recover the iron pieces without risk of desintegration. I think the two items still reside in the same (rocky) place, some 200 yards from the shore.
On the other hand this cruzader sword looks to be well encapsulated by a dense layer of crustaceans; and will be handled by experts ... assuming inside such capsule there is a real sword .
Thanks Fernando, what you describe with the artifacts found by your friends is a familiar case with underwater finds.
Years ago I was communicating with one of the divers on the QAR, (Queen Annes Revenge, Blackbeards ship), and they were dragging cannon up year after year. These must have been in tanks for many years as they finally got many of them uncrusted.

On one wreck, I think it was the Henrietta Marie, there was a flintlock pistol encrusted, but I believe the crusting was opened, only the impression remained. I hope that will not be the case here.

The best finds are in riverbeds where the silt is so fine and entombs the sword completely away from oxygen so remains intact. Many of the Viking swords known today were in such context.
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Old 21st October 2021, 07:18 AM   #10
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This is indeed an incredible find! The encrusted pieces literally take years to soak and clean. I just read an indepth volume on the archaeological preservation of the QAR wreck. The cannons soaked for over over 7 years! The pistol and sword fragments 3-4 years, etc. Even smaller items take several years. Still, I think there might be enough of the blade left under the 'crud'. Iron of course corrodes at a rapid speed in a saline environment, but if it became encrusted before degradation, the elements might have literally sealed off the destruction of the iron. Unfortunately, we'll all have to wait half a decade to see this beauty restored!
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Old 21st October 2021, 01:18 PM   #11
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Hopefuly the item is completely sealed by concretion, with no air leaks. Exposure to oxygen is another issue. Immersion in water tanks is a must; Cook's 'Endeavor' cannons were carried to the mainland in tanks filled with sea water. Then followed a series of treatments; electrolytic reduction, distilled water washing, wax impregnation, heat treatment, caustic soda bath ... you name it.
Easy to assume that often iron artifacts lose their chance to be recovered from the bottom of the sea, in opposition to those in bronze; specially considering that this kind of findings is due to freelancers, lacking the means or not whilling to handle such complexities.
It is estimated that there are circa ten thousand shipwrecks in all the (tiny) Portuguese coast. I am still waiting, for a few years now, for the nearby city authorities to decide recovering half dozen cannons (mostly culverins) from the sea, closest from the shore, from a 1600's shipwreck. The excuse is the sea conditions.
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