Digging History

Sword found in bog may tell of medieval knight's demise

The medieval sword, at just over three pounds, wouldn't have weighed down its owner. But the bog where it was found might have. That's what researchers are saying after a remarkably well-preserved sword from the 14th century was found in a bog in Poland.

A worker was using an excavator to drain the peat-filled bog in Hrubieszów late last month when the 4-foot-long sword surfaced, reports National Geographic. The worker then donated it to the local Stanislaw Staszic Museum.

The museum's director tells Polish public science website PAP "it is possible that a knight was sucked into the marsh after a string of unfortunate circumstances, or that [the sword] was simply lost." According to the History Blog, knights might've worked at a castle built in Hrubieszów in the late 14th century.

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Keeping that in mind, researchers now hope to discover the identity of the sword's owner. They plan to look for an engraving at the top of the blade that might relate to a specific knight or family, and will analyze a blacksmith's mark—"an isosceles cross inside an heraldic shield," per the History Blog—that's present and that would've once been covered by a wood, bone, or antler hilt.

The sword has been sent to Warsaw to be studied and restored and is expected to be returned to the Stanislaw Staszic Museum by November. In the meantime, archaeologists plan to search the bog for other artifacts.

(A hiker once found a Viking sword.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Medieval Knight's Sword Found in Bog