Rare Byzantine swords found in medieval stronghold

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Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered two “rare and unique” swords in a heavily fortified city from the Byzantine Empire, a new study finds. One of the swords, unearthed in a church, may have been placed there as an offering.

Both iron weapons are ring pommeled swords, meaning that the pommel — a rounded knob at the end of the handle — is shaped like a ring. Ring pommeled swords were a rarity in the Byzantine, but these blades are also unique for another reason: Intriguing features on the swords distinguish “them from the ring pommeled swords of the nearby civilizations,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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