Archaeologists find four ancient Roman swords likely stolen by Jews during Bar Kochba revolt

Thursday, September 7, 2023 | Tag Cloud

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Archaeologists working in the Judean desert in Israel have made an “extremely rare” find of four 1,900-year-old Roman swords, which are believed to have been stolen from enemy soldiers by Jewish rebels during the 132–136 CE Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman Empire, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.

A preliminary article on the find by the Israel Antiquities Authorities has been published in the volume “New Studies in the Archaeology of the Judean Desert: Collected Papers,” TOI said.

The four swords, three of which were still inside their scabbards, were found pushed into a fissure of a cave in the Ein Gedi National Park near the Dead Sea, TOI reports. This particular cave is already known for an ancient Hebrew inscription of the First Temple period that was painted in carbonite ink onto a stalactite there.

Three of the swords are Roman spatha swords, with blades 60 to 65 centimeters long, TOI reports. The fourth is a ring-pommel sword, shorter, with a 45-centimeter blade.

In a video presentation about the discovery of the swords, Dr. Eitan Klein, one of the directors of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Judean Desert Survey, said: “We’re talking about an extremely rare find, the likes of which have never been found in Israel. Four swords amazingly preserved, including the fine condition of the metal, the handles, and the scabbards.”

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