Roman era swords, belonging to Jewish rebels, unearthed in Israeli desert

  • September 6, 2023

The swords are believed to be from the Roman era dating back 1,900 years — AFP

A trove of ancient artefacts, including four well-preserved swords with wooden and leather scabbards, has been unearthed in a remote cave located in the Israeli desert. 

Archaeologists speculate that these items may have once belonged to Jewish rebels who revolted against Roman rule.

The design of three of these swords closely resembles the Roman “spatha” swords, while the fourth features a ring-pommel handle that aligns with the historical period. 

Additionally, the discovery includes a shafted Roman “pilum” spear. This cave, situated overlooking the Dead Sea, served as a sanctuary for Jewish insurgents who opposed Roman domination during the era spanning from the first century BC to the second century AD.

At the entrance of the cave, a coin from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 AD) was also found. 

Eitan Klein, an archaeologist from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), noted that the deliberate concealment of these weapons within deep crevices in the cave suggests that they were likely taken as spoils from Roman soldiers or obtained on the battlefield. 

This act was likely an effort to avoid detection by Roman authorities, as the rebels didn’t want to be caught with these weapons.

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