Bartłomiej Bartecki, director of the Museum in Hrubieszów presents the sword found in the Commune of Mircze.

Medieval Sword in Excellent Condition Accidentally Found in a Peat Bog in Poland


An excavator operator who was working in a peat bog in Poland last month, accidentally discovered a magnificent 14th century longsword, which is in an extremely good condition. Experts believe that this is a unique find to the region.

Stunning 14th Century Sword Discovered in Great Condition

As Gizmodo reports, Wojciech Kot, an excavator operator who discovered the long-sword in the peat bog in the Polish municipality of Mircze, has donated the sword to the Fr. Stanislaw Staszic Museum. Museum experts are currently examining the weapon, while the preparations for an organized archaeological expedition have already started.

Even though the long sword has been corroded over time, archaeologists reassure say that this is normal due to the fact that it had been in the bog for more than six centuries. The only part missing from the long sword is the original hilt, which was thought to have been made from antler, bone or wood.

Initially, the impressive sword measured 47 inches long (120 cm), and weighed only 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg), “The elongated grip was intended for two-handed use which coupled with its long reach and light weight made the sword an agile weapon for armored knights in battle. This design is typical of the 14th century,” notes The History Blog.

The Long Sword. Image: Fr. Stanisław Staszic Museum

The Long Sword. Image: Fr. Stanisław Staszic Museum

The Sword’s Origins

The rear bar of the sword features an isosceles cross inscribed inside the shape of a heraldic shield, which was most likely created by the blacksmith. Museum’s director Bartłomiej Bartecki focused on the find’s uniqueness, “This is a unique find in the region. It is worth pointing out that while there are similar artefacts in museum collections, their places of discovery is often unknown, and that is very important information for historians and archaeologists,” he stated as Gizmodo reports. As to how the sword ended up in a peat bog, Staszic explained, “It’s possible that an unlucky knight was pulled into the marsh, or simply lost his sword.” The History Blog, however, attempts to give a more detailed explanation about the sword’s likely origins:

“The area is first appears on the historical record in the 13th century where it’s mentioned as the site of a few hunting lodges surrounded by forest. The region was part of Ruthenia (aka the Kievan Rus) then and was absorbed by the Kingdom of Poland in 1366 century after the disintegration of the Rus. The Polish governor built a castle in Hrubieszów in the late 14th century. So at least the second half of the century offered good employment opportunity for knights. Or he could have just been riding through and made a wrong turn into the bog.”

The sword found in the peat bog in Poland.

The sword found in the peat bog in Poland. Photo: PAP/ Wojciech Pacewicz

Excavation Expected at the Peat Bog

In the coming days, a team of Polish archaeologists will return to the discovery site to carry out limited excavations at the peat bog. No bones have been found near the sword's location, but the team hopes to find any possible artifacts or other belongings from the knight. As for the sword, it is expected to undergo conservation in Warsaw, "This treatment will also help determine its owner. We believe that there could be engraved signs on the blade near the hilt; those were most often made by swordmakers who marked swords for the knights. This could help us determine the origin of the weapon," Bartecki told PAP, and assured that after the conservation and analysis end, the sword will become part of the main exhibition at the Museum in Hrubieszów.

Top image: Bartłomiej Bartecki, director of the Museum in Hrubieszów presents the sword found in the Commune of Mircze. Photo: PAP/ Wojciech Pacewicz

By Theodoros Karasavvas

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Brilliant article, looking forward to reading more on it

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