Written by By Katie Keith, CNN
This story was originally published by the California-based jewellery company, AnaBelle & Co
Yoga mats are fine for rejuvenating the inner body, but Scotland’s Natural History Museum likes to take the mind along for the ride too.
The museum recently announced the world’s oldest sword, dating back to 1098. The handle, discovered by a diver during a search off the coast of St. Andrews, is now on display inside the museum.
As pointed out by BBC , the sword was found alongside several human remains, all believed to have been removed from a shipwreck dating back to the 14th century. Using technology from the 1960s and 70s, geochemical testing identified the spot in the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the study’s authors, Dr. Colin O’Neill, said the “deep sea is not just about fossilised remains,” but also “a new world of exciting material objects such as artisan swords, sealskin, ceramic, leather and even a tooth.”
While the sword itself was not quite in the right condition for re-assemble, the full effect of it is “well worth the effort,” said O’Neill.
He enthused about the fact that the sword was preserved well under its salt water surroundings, adding that such artifacts have been known to turn up in Scotland at times of catastrophe or loss of humanity.
“The sword was found in a central location — a cause of great concern, but thankfully a happy one, since only its handle was found. The lettering on the sword’s handle reads ‘De Lezonde’ [wise],” O’Neill added.
The dragon and dragon’s breath
Another feature of the sword that made it especially likely to be historic was its shape.
“When looking at an object of this age, it’s great to find it with shape,” said O’Neill.
“Nature can contour and fix the form of an object to go into the human mind, especially if that object was made so long ago.”
Further special effects were provided by the fact that the shipwreck had belonged to a group known as the Hangar brothers, who would also create shields using rings, stones and other objects to represent dragons.
The sword would, in fact, have had dragon’s breath in it for at least a millennium — which would make the delay of reassembling it well worth it, according to O’Neill.
“Unfortunately, of course, it’s not every day that such objects are found,” he said. “But that time is now.”