An axe and several tombs dating back to around 400BC have also been found at project in Cadiz Bay in Spain
An ancient sword dating back to 900 years ago that belonged to a Crusader knight who earned it during a bloody battle has been unearthed on the Costa del Sol.
The sword, broken and battered, was found by divers off the coast of Todos Santos, Spain, while excavating a rare remains site from the dead of the first three Caliphate courts of the 13th century.
“The sword is being reassembled by expert craftsmen who will recreate a lost weapon of power,” said José Andrés Téo, the Andalucian regional government’s head of heritage.
Divers collecting whale bones from the sea bed where the sword was found. Photograph: Christobal Suño/AP
A bronze ax was also discovered by divers working for the Cultural Heritage of the Sierra de Castellón.
The fact that the first 12 Caliphates were established in Spain and Portugal from the year 1000 is well known. But as many as 300 mummies have also been discovered in the coastal region where the dig has been taking place in recent weeks.
“We have uncovered a site of the architecture and custom of the first Caliphate period in the form of a 5th century tomb,” said José Martínez Atencio, a lieutenant of the Cadiz regional police.
“Almost all the skeletons from this tomb have been identified as it contains objects, artefacts and relics – most of all, the remains of soldiers killed during the Battle of Talha in the year 800 of the Husseyn dynasty of eighth century.”
Ateurosu, Spain (@ainzebasey) Orange sword found by divers off todos santos belongs to Crusader knight who won it during the Battle of Talha in 800. pic.twitter.com/IJDM5gjaZw
Among the finds has been a bomb carved with images of siege heralds called heralds of the rain, which dates from around 400BC, some torsos, a spearhead from around 550BC and what was probably a dagger or pottery vessel dated back to the Roman period.
Others have found iron and bronze, and ceramics and coins from the time of the Islamic expansion into Spain.
The dig is part of the four-year project to map an area from the 7th to 12th centuries to help historians answer the question: how well the culture and architecture of Spain and Portugal evolved during that time?
The arch-seismic survey being carried out to find the exact features of the sea bed is expected to produce hundreds of maps which could potentially shed light on the history of Gibraltar and surrounding regions such as Tenerife.
“The survey is also being carried out to learn more about the Mediterranean story and how we are changing in a very subtle way with the help of climate change and human activity,” said Martínez Atencio.