Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered two “rare and unique” swords in a heavily fortified city from the Byzantine Empire, a new study finds. One of the swords, unearthed in a church, may have been placed there as an offering.
Both iron weapons are ring pommeled swords, meaning that the pommel — a rounded knob at the end of the handle — is shaped like a ring. Ring pommeled swords were a rarity in the Byzantine, but these blades are also unique for another reason: Intriguing features on the swords distinguish “them from the ring pommeled swords of the nearby civilizations,” the researchers wrote in the study.
The swords are so unique, it’s difficult to determine what ethnicity or mercenary group wielded them about 1,000 years ago, the researchers said.
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