The world’s oldest weapon? 5000-year-old Anatolian sword discovered in the Armenian monastery of Venice
The world’s oldest weapon? 5000-year-old Anatolian sword is discovered in the Armenian monastery of Venice after it has been incorrectly designated as “medieval”
- The sword from the end of the 4th century BC was held in a museum in Venice
- A PhD student saw the sword in a medieval part, but found it much older
- The sword has been reassessed and dates from Eastern Turkey in 3000 BC
One of the oldest weapons in the world that was incorrectly labeled in a museum on the island of Saint Lazarus, Venice, is around 5,000 years old, according to a new study.
The extremely rare sword, which does not resemble most of the ancient weapons in the world, was made around 3000 BC and came from Eastern Turkey.
However, the sword was in a cupboard as part of a medieval collection.
It was only when a local PhD student and expert in ancient weapons noticed the sword that it was removed for further analysis to determine the date.
The sword may have been a ceremonial object or an attacking weapon used in combat.
Another hypothesis is that it was part of a funeral and was casually picked up by townspeople before it ended up in a museum.
The 5000 year old sword has no visible inscriptions, decorations or distinctive features
Vittoria Dall’Armellina at Università Ca ‘Foscari in Venice saw the sword in a box surrounded by medieval objects in the Mekhitarist monastery on the island of Saint Lazarus in the Venice lagoon.
Mekhitarist monastery, the headquarters of the Armenian Catholic Mekhitarist congregation, includes museums, a church, residential areas, a library, museums, photo gallery, printing and research facilities.
The weapon caught the attention of Dall’Armellina, whose master and PhD included studies on the origin and evolution of swords in the Ancient Near East.
She thought the weapon she had seen did not look like a medieval artifact, but a much older sword, similar to the one she had already met in her studies.
It looked like the one found in the Royal Palace of Arslantepe in modern Turkey, which would set its date on 5000 years ago and make it one of the oldest swords in the world.
The sword is not decorated and has no visible inscriptions, decorations or distinctive features.
PhD student Vittoria Dall’Armellina with Father Serafino Jamourlian, a brother who contributed to the research
Strong resemblance to the double swords of the archaeological site of Arslantepe in Eastern Turkey has enabled experts to determine that the sword dates from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC
The sword of the island of Saint Lazarus, like the rest of similar objects, turned out to be made of arsenic bronze, an alloy that was often used before the widespread spread of bronze.
This type of sword was found in a relatively small area in East Anatolia, between the high course of the Euphrat and the southern shore of the Black Sea.
Further analysis of trace elements could further determine the exact source of the metal.
Due to less than optimal conditions it is not possible to detect traces of use.
Analysis of the sword, made from arsenic bronze, an alloy often used before the widespread distribution of bronze
But it is believed that the sword traveled from Trebizond to Venice in the second half of the 19th century.
This is due to an envelope with a worn strip of paper that came with the sword.
The note on the paper, written in Armenian, is about a gift to Father Ghevond Alishan, a famous poet and writer who died in Venice in 1901.
Further studies are being done on the weapon, the history of which is still “enveloped in mystery.”