The 3,000-year-old octagonal sword (Image courtesy: Bronzezeitliches Schwert aus Nordlingen; Archaologie-Buro Dr. Woidich)
In an extremely rare find, a 3,000-year-old sword in excellent condition has been unearthed from a Bronze Age burial by archaeologists in Germany.
According to a LiveScience report, archaeologists dated the sword to the end of the 14th century B.C. Sword discoveries from this time and region are rare, as many middle Bronze Age graves were looted over the millennia.
The 3,000-year-old sword, discovered in the town of Nördlingen in Bavaria, was found in the burial of a man, woman and child. It appears that the trio were buried in quick succession, but it’s unclear if they are related to one another, according to a statement the Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection released on June 14.
The sword is so well preserved, “it almost still shines,” according to the translated statement. The weapon has an ornate octagonal hilt crafted from bronze that now has a greenish tinge as bonze contains copper, a metal that oxidizes when exposed to air and water.
Only skilled smiths could make octagonal swords. The handle, which has two rivets, was cast over the blade in a technique known as overlay casting. However, the blade doesn’t have any visible cut marks or signs of wear, suggesting that it had a ceremonial or symbolic purpose. But the sword could have easily served as an active weapon, according to the statement.