Rare Roman Gladiator Swords Unearthed In Ancient Arms Cache

A cache of astonishingly perfectly preserved Roman swords has been unearthed from what scientists believe was once a two-thousand-year-old rebel arms dump.

The four swords are said to be in near-perfect condition thanks to a unique micro-climate found in a cave in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Israel.

Scientists also discovered a javelin tip and shards of wood, which they believe could have been its original shaft.

Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash

Footage of the blades shows they still appear razor sharp and are still inside their near-perfect condition wooden and leather scabbards.

Israeli Antiquities Authority scientists believe the weapons were stolen from the Roman army by Jewish rebels and hidden in the cave in the Judaean desert.

They said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “Finding a single sword is rare—so four? It’s a dream! We rubbed our eyes to believe it”

One researcher – Boaz Langford from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – said: “Just look at the fine preservation of the blades.

Photo shows ancient weapons found in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel, undated. The ancient weapons were secreted behind a wall of stalactites deep inside the cave in the Judean Desert southeast of Jerusalem sometime in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. (Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash)
Photo shows archaeologists removing the swords from the crevice where they were hidden in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel, undated. The ancient weapons were secreted behind a wall of stalactites deep inside the cave in the Judean Desert southeast of Jerusalem sometime in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. (Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash)

“They look as if they could be picked up and used right now even 2,000 years after they were forged.”

Researchers from Ariel University and Hebrew University stumbled across the weapons while they were studying an engraved stalactite at the cave.

One spotted the tip of a Roman pilum, or javelin, wedged into the rocks and began to investigate, according to scientists

Nearly 2,000 years ago the region was the site of running battles between Roman troops and local rebels.

Now experts are to carry out DNA testing on the weapons to see if it can be discovered who wielded them – and who died by them.

Photo shows the shafted pilum weapon found in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel, undated. The ancient weapons were secreted behind a wall of stalactites deep inside the cave in the Judean Desert southeast of Jerusalem sometime in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. (Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash)
Photo shows an ancient weapon found in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel, undated. The ancient weapons were secreted behind a wall of stalactites deep inside the cave in the Judean Desert southeast of Jerusalem sometime in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. (Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Michael LeidigSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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