JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a sensational find from the period of the Bar Kochba rebellion 1900 years ago, archaeologists and cave mappers in the Judean desert discovered a rare treasure trove – four swords in almost perfect condition.Join our WhatsApp group
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Researchers believe that the swords had apparently been stolen from the Roman army stationed nearby and hurriedly stashed away in the cave for future use. The swords, as well as a spearhead, were found inside sheaths of wood and leather in a cave overlooking the Dead Sea in the Ein Gedi nature reserve. Due to the dry and arid conditions and the difficulty to access the cave, which is on a rocky promontory above the reserve, the swords hardly suffered the effects of centuries of wear and tear.
In the same cave, archaeologists found 50 years ago an ancient Hebrew inscription written on stone and Dr. Assaf Geyer from the Ariel University Department of Archaeology as well as Boaz Langford, a geologist from the Institute for Earth Studies and Shai Halevi, a photographer for the Antiquities Authority, decided to go and make multispectral pictures of the ancient inscription which would enable them to decipher other parts of it. While searching the upper portion of the cave, Dr. Geyer found a niche with the swords and sheaths. A coin from the Bar Kochba period was also found at the entrance to the cave, hinting at the period when it was in active use.
The swords could be identified based on their length and decorations. Three of the swords are 60-65 cm in length, identified as Roman Spatha swords and the other shorter one (45 cm) is a Ring Pommel sword.
The archaeologists found it hard to hide their excitement at the discoveries, saying that they are “the dream of every archaeologist.” They added that “To find one sword like this is rare, but four? Its a dream. We rubbed our eyes in misbelief.”
תגלית ארכאולוגית סנסציונית: במערה באזור ים המלח נחשף מצבור של 4 חרבות רומיות מימי מרד בר כוכבא שהשתמרו במצב נפלא. נראה שמורדים יהודים שדדו את החרבות מידי הרומים לפני 1800 שנה והסליקו אותן במערה. כתבה שהכנתי על הסיפור המרגש הזה תשודר הערב בחדשות @N12News (צילום-אמיל אלג’ם, רש”הע) pic.twitter.com/lSUpLGbx1S
— גיל ליטמן (@GilLitman) September 6, 2023
Removing swords from Judean Desert cave
Swords on display