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Rare Discovery: Hand Grenade from the Crusaders Era Baffles Archaeologists

Aug 26, 2016 05:31 AM EDT
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Israeli police raid East Jerusalem hospital
Migrant Shelter Attacked With Hand Grenade

(Photo : Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)

A crusader-era hand grenade was turned over to Israel Antiquities Authority Express (IAA). The hand grenade, together with other metal artifacts, was recovered from the sea in Israel found by the late Marcel Mazliah.

According to Fox News, some of the fascinating archaeological finds that were brought to IAA were a toggle pin, a head of a knife and a hand grenade. There were also two mortars, two pestles and candlestick fragments that, according to IAA curator Ayala Lester, dates back to the 11th Century Fatimid period.

"The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel," she said, in a statement. "The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period."

Mazliah was a worker at the Hadera power plant in Northern Israel. On how he got these artifacts, his family said that Mazliah found the artifacts while at sea as he used to work in a seaside power plant, Haaretz reported. Recently, Mazliah's family decided to present the artifacts to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

It is possible that most of the items that Mazliah found came from sunked ships. The oldest of the artificats are the toggle pin and head of a knife, which are suspected to be from the Middle Bronze some 3,500 years ago.

But perhaps, the most intriguing of them all is the decorated hand grenade, which is possibly used during the time of the Crusaders as it is the most common weapon used in Israel during those times. Experts said that grenades were also used as a present in the 12th and 13th century Ayyubid period and in 13th to 16th century Mamluk era.

This particular metal hand grenade is "gorgeously embossed" compared to modern grenades that is decorated with just serial numbers. Despite the fact that grenades were used as weapons or to diffuse burning flammable liquid, some experts believed that the "so-called" ancient grenades such as what Mazliah found were used as perfume containers instead of weapons.

The video posted below is from IAA's official YouTube channel, showing Mazliah's amazing finds including the hand grenade.

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