Another rare discovery of a centuries old sword while dredging of Oder River

A unique find in Szczecin. Medieval sword at the bottom of the Oder River

An almost completely preserved medieval sword with a fragment of a leather and wooden scabbard was recovered from the Odra River during the dredging of the Świnoujście-Szczecin fairway. Experts described the find as “unique”.

The uniqueness of the last find, the sword, is due to the fact that not only the sword has been preserved, but the sword along with a fragment of a leather and wooden scabbard. There are really few such finds. There are separate swords, and separate scabbards, most often in wet environments, in urban layers. However, we are very rarely dealing with a complete set – explained to journalists Dr. Anna Bogumiła Kowalska from the Archeology Department of the National Museum in Szczecin.⚓🗡

The sword is 108 cm long and is almost completely preserved, with only a broken tip and a small fragment of an engraving. On the other hand, the remaining part of the blade, the crossguard and the handle with the pommel have survived. A part of the blade is stuck on the side of the crossguard in a fragment of a leather and wooden scabbard – this one is ended off with triangular insets. Wooden splints are visible under its leather part.

According to the preliminary inspection, the treasure dates from the period from 1170 to 1330. It was excavated during the deepening of the Świnoujście-Szczecin fairway, in the Western Oder at the Dębina Island. ⚓🗡

The sword was retrieved, transported in appropriate conditions to the National Museum, and immediately secured with appropriate means and manner, so as not to lose any information that may be contained in this sword and in the scabbard, and which we will be able to analyse – said Kowalska .

As she added, she hopes that thanks to non-invasive tests carried out before full conservation, it will be possible to try to analyze whether the sword was lost during, for example, a conflict, or whether it was intentionally deposited in a river.

From deep prehistory, military deposits were ceremonial in nature – perhaps this sword is connected with such a story. (…) If it really turned out that it was a deposit, it would be the most eastern of those we know today – Kowalska pointed out.

The artifact will now be subjected to detailed examinations, incl. archeometric and metal science – an interdisciplinary team of specialists is being assembled to conduct them.



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