A JEWEL of Spanish military history has been ‘rescued’ from an illegal internet auction.
The item, of great historical relevance, is believed to be the oldest iron sword known to date in Spain, dating from the early Iron Age, and had been put up for sale on the internet at an initial price of €1,200.
The historic gem was located by the Civil Guard last December as part of the ‘Pandora’ operation to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property on the Internet.
Following the publication of the sale of an ‘alleged Roman sword’, the Civil Guard contacted the seller to verify the authenticity and age of the sword.
The seller, a resident of Villanueva de la Fuente, who, unaware of the historic value of the item he had put up for sale, voluntarily agreed to hand over the weapon for experts to authenticate the item.
Technicians from the Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha were in charge of its analysis and confirmed that it was indeed ‘an exceptional’ and ‘unique’ piece, believed to be the oldest iron sword known to date in Spain.
The sword was made with the wrought iron technique in the seventh century before Christ, between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
The sword, which is in a ‘good state of preservation’ and ‘complete’, with just the handle missing, has been handed over the Provincial Museum of Ciudad Real, where it has been given a preferential spot in the museum.
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