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Rare Sword Found in Spain Dubbed ‘Excalibur’ Determined to Date Back Over 1,000 Years

Rare Spanish Sword Traced to Islamic Period 1,000 Years Ago
Source: Valencia City Council Archaeology Service

A sword nicknamed Excalibur was found to date to the Islamic period of Spain during the 10th century.

May 8 2024, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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New research reveals fascinating insights into a remarkable artifact discovered in the Spanish city of Valencia: a 1,000-year-old sword dubbed "Excalibur.”

This ancient weapon, measuring 18 inches in length, was unearthed in 1994 in an upright position within a grave, sparking intrigue reminiscent of the legendary tales of King Arthur.

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The sword's discovery in an Islamic-era dwelling north of Valencia's ancient Roman forum intrigued archaeologists, Live Science reported.

Decorated with bronze plates on its hilt and featuring notches for enhanced handling, the sword presented a conundrum for dating due to its slight curvature towards the tip, a characteristic shared with Visigothic swords of the period spanning from A.D. 418 to 711.

To unravel the mystery surrounding the sword's origins, the city commissioned José Miguel Osuna, an archaeologist from the University of Granada, to conduct further research.

Through meticulous examination of the weapon's metalwork and the sedimentary context of its discovery, Osuna determined that the sword dates back to the 10th century, during Valencia's Islamic rule when it was known as Balansiya. Additionally, its size and absence of a hand guard suggested its use by a mounted warrior.

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This significant find marks the first sword from the Islamic period discovered in Valencia, shedding light on a lesser-known aspect of the city's history.

The uncovering of this ancient relic serves as a tangible link to a pivotal era in Spain's history, a period marked by cultural exchange and the coexistence of diverse civilizations. As scholars continue to delve into the past, discoveries like "Excalibur" provide valuable insights into the rich tapestry of Spain's heritage.

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