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Swords from Bar Kochba Revolt Discovered in Judean Desert

See the amazingly preserved, 1,900-year-old Roman-era swords found in a cave in the Judean desert, most likely used by Jewish fighters during the Bar Kochba Revolt!

Israeli archeologists have recently announced one of their most incredible finds yet: a set of four well-preserved swords believed to have been hidden by Judean rebels fighting the Roman empire 1,900 years ago!

Dr. Eitan Klein of the Israel Antiquities Authority has called this “an extremely rare find, the likes of which have never been found in Israel.”


Archaeologists remove the swords from the Judean cave where they were hidden around 1,900 years ago (Photo credit: Emil Aladjem/IAA)
The Incredible Discovery

Israeli scholars (left to right) Amir Ganor, Dr. Eitan Klein, Oriya Amichay, and Dr. Asaf Gayer with the recently discovered swords, currently held at the Israel Antiquities Authority office in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Yoli Schwartz/IAA)


Israel is no stranger to awe-inspiring archeological finds from ancient Jewish history, from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient Hebrew artifacts and Biblical writings, to uniquely preserved glass from the Roman era, to coins minted by Judean rebels for use in the Holy Temple, including a recent rare find that you can read about here.

But this newest discovery, just announced a few days ago, is one of the most impressive to date!

Israeli researchers happened to notice an ancient weapon wedged into a crack in a rock, while investigating and photographing an ancient Hebrew inscription inside a cave in the Judean desert. A team of archeologists was dispatched to the cave, located near the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, and ended up uncovering not one but four intact swords - three of them still inside their protective scabbards.


The four ancient swords discovered in Israel, likely from the Bar Kochba Revolt (Photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)


The pieces have been identified as Roman-made and likely dating to around the second century - and as for how they ended up in a Judean cave, it's believed that they must have been stolen from the Romans by Jewish fighters and hidden during the Bar Kochba Revolt of 132-135 CE.

According to archeologist Dr. Eitan Klein, "this is a very rare and unique find on an international level that will shed light on the last moments of the war between the Jewish rebels and the Roman army at the time of the Bar Kochba revolt.”


Celebrate the Jewish fighting spirit of the past and present with special Israeli and IDF gifts!

Judean Caves of Wonders

Archaeologists removing the swords from the entrance of the cave where they were found in the Judean desert (Photo credit: Emil Aladjem/IAA)


Part of what makes this particular discovery so remarkable is the excellent condition in which the swords were found. The dry, arid climate of Israel's desert has kept the artifacts from eroding over the past two millennia. “The blades have been preserved so well, they look like they could be picked up and used right now, even 2,000 years after they were forged,” said Israeli geologist Boaz Langford of Hebrew University.

These ideal conditions, combined with Israel's long and rich history, have made the hills and caves of Judea home to some of the world's most famous and inspiring archeological finds.


Israeli archaeologist sifting dirt in the Judean cave where the Roman swords were discovered, near Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Photo credit: Matan Toledano/IAA)


Want to learn about other amazing artifacts found in the Judean desert? Click below to read about:

Eli Escusido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, refers to the area as a “unique time capsule” allowing for the discovery of some of the most impressive and well-preserved treasures.


Wear a piece of ancient history with jewelry made from Roman glass that was found in excavations in the Land of Israel!



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