One of the oldest swords in the world that was mislabelled in a museum on the Saint Lazarus Island, Venice, is around 5,000 years old, according to a new study, The Daily Mail reports.
The ultra-rare sword, which doesn’t resemble most ancient weapons in the world, was made around the year 3000BC and came from Western Armenia.
However, the sword was contained in a cabinet as part of a medieval collection. It was only when a local PhD student and expert in ancient weaponry noticed the sword that it was removed for further analysis to pinpoint its date.
The Saint Lazarus Island sword turned out to be made of arsenical bronze, an alloy frequently used before the widespread diffusion of bronze.
It’s believed the sword travelled from Trabizon to Venice in the second half of the 19th century.
This is due to an envelope containing a worn-out slip of paper that came with the sword.
The note on the paper, written in Armenian, talks about a donation to Father Ghevond Alishan, a famous poet and writer who died in Venice in 1901.
Ghevond Alishan, who was a friend of English art critic John Ruskin, was born in Constantinople and travelled to Venice before his death.
Further studies are being done on the weapon, the history of which is still ‘shrouded with mystery’.