Ancient Excalibur Sword Unearthed, King Arthur’s Mythological Sword Real?

By Charlene Badasie | Published

When an iron sword was found upright in the ground near an archaeological site in Spain in 1994, researchers bestowed it with the name “Excalibur” after the legendary sword from the King Arthur stories. This was largely due to its position to the north of the ancient Roman Forum in the old city of Valencia.

A 10th Century Relic

After years of uncertainty, researchers from the Archeology Service (SIAM) of the Valencia City Council have determined that the Excalibur sword dates back to the 10th century. This places it within the period of Islamic rule in Spain known as Al-Andalus. If one does the math, the sword is over 1,000 years old.

Rare Archaeological Find

The Excalibur sword is approximately 18 inches long and has a curved blade, which initially caused confusion about its age since it resembled Visigothic swords from an earlier period. However, the researchers were able to accurately date it based on the sediment layers in which it was found. It is the first Islamic-era sword discovered in Valencia, making it a rare archaeological find.

Used By A Horseman

The Excalibur sword’s hilt is adorned with bronze plates, and its size and lack of a hand guard suggest a horseman may have wielded it. “This sword has a unique design that gives it great archaeological and heritage value,” Valencia councilor for cultural action, heritage and cultural resources, Jose Luis Moreno, said in a press release.

The Sword In The Stone

the sword in the stone

In fiction, the Excalibur sword in is a legendary weapon associated with King Arthur in Arthurian legend. The sword possesses magical powers and is often linked to the rightful sovereignty of Britain. In various versions of the legend, Excalibur is depicted as the sword in the stone, which only the true king can withdraw, proving his divine right to rule.

There is also a story where the Lady of the Lake gives Excalibur to Arthur, and he later returns it to her before his death. Over time, different adaptations have combined these two stories, leading to confusion about the origin of Excalibur. The sword is the ultimate symbol of power, with its name derived from Welsh and Middle Cornish roots, meaning “hard” and “breach, cleft.”

The Legend Of King Arthur

charlie hunnam king arthur

The Excalibur sword’s significance lies not only in its magical properties but also in its role as a ritual item, a symbol of Arthur’s authority, and a powerful weapon in his battles. Some popular works of fiction that feature the sword include The Camelot Rising Trilogy by Kiersten White. The story puts a new spin on the Arthurian legends and is aimed at young adult readers.

Given By The Lady In The Lake

king arthur sword in the lake

The Excalibur sword also appears in various movies and television shows. Released in 1981, this epic medieval fantasy film Excalibur details the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It stars Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicol Williamson as Merlin, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere, Helen Mirren as Morgana Le Fay, and Liam Neeson as Gawain.

Trend Of Gritty And Dark Arthurian Adaptations

The 2007 film The Last Legion blends Arthurian legend with Roman history. The story follows Romulus Augustus, who asks Merlin to help him find the legendary Excalibur sword. The 2011 Starz series Camelot offers a grounded, gritty take on the Arthurian legend, focusing on the power struggles and politics of Arthur’s rise to power.

Subscribe for Science News
Get More Real But Weird

Science News

Expect a confirmation email if you Subscribe.