“Shlomi Katzin came across the 900-year-old weapon on the floor of the Mediterranean sea while scuba diving Saturday off the Carmel coast in northern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement. The sword, measuring about four feet long, was encrusted in marine life but in otherwise ‘perfect condition,’ according to Nir Distelfeld, an official with the IAA. Distelfeld, in a statement, described it as a ‘beautiful and rare find’ that probably belonged to a Crusader knight. ‘It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor and swords’” (“Israeli diver finds,” The Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2021). The History of the Church from a Baptist Perspective, available from Way of Life Literature, contains the account of the Crusades from beginning to end. The last major Crusader fort to fall to the Mamluks of Egypt was Acre, north of Carmel, which fell in 1291 after a seven-week siege. The surviving knights fled the Acre fortress through an underground passage to ships in the harbor, where they departed down the coast to the small fortress at Atlit. After they buried their dead in the cemetery by the sea, they departed for Europe in August, leaving all of the Holy Land in possession of the Muslims. The 200-year crusader presence was ended. The Crusader fortress at Acre is an impressive museum today, and visitors can walk through the escape tunnel. The Crusader cemetery near Atlit lies in desolation surrounded by a flimsy fence when we visited it a few years ago.
(Friday Church News Notes, October 29, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)