Ancient swords, elaborate daggers, even early artillery — 2020 turned up a number of intriguing ancient weapons that tell the story of the violence of the past. These discoveries cover hundreds of thousands of years of human history, ranging from the ice age to medieval times.
A Beautiful Hilt
A mushroom hunter in the Czech Republic was out in the woods this spring when he discovered far more than delectable fungi.
Sticking out of the soil was a piece of metal. Mushroom hunter Roman Novák kicked at it and realized it was the blade of a sword. He started digging and found not only the sword, but a bronze ax.
The hilt and pommel of the sword are decorated with delicate circular and crescent-shaped carvings. Archaeologists with the nearby Silesian Museum examined the artifacts and pegged them to the Bronze Age, some 3,300 years ago. It was not clear why the sword was out in the middle of the woods, though recent rain may have washed away enough soil to make it visible for the first time in thousands of years. Archaeologists plan to study the surrounding region further.