Metal detectorist finds 600-year-old sword

Polish archaeologists believe that a recently found medieval sword can be traced back to the Battle of Grunwald, which propelled the Polish-Lithuanian union to regional dominance.

History enthusiast and metal detectorist, Alexander Medvedev, has managed to add another impressive find to his resume. Having found two perfectly preserved battle axes in 2020 at the site where the Battle of Grunwald was fought in 1410 between an alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania against the Teutonic Order, this time Mr Medveded located a sword, a scabbard, a knight's belt and two knives.

The items, which probably also date back to the time of the Battle of Grunwald, were found near the city of Olsztyn but the exact spot has not been disclosed as further excavation works are being prepared at the site. Archaeologists have high hopes that the remains of the knight who owned the sword can also be found near the place where the items were discovered.

The unique find was announced on Thursday by the Marshal's Office of the Warmia and Mazury Province. In a press release sent to the Polish Press Agency, it was stated that "such a find comes along once in decades".

"This is a phenomenal set in the form of a sword, scabbard, belt and two knives. Taking into account that these relics come from the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, so they've been lying in the ground for about 600 years, they are in remarkably good condition," - Alexander Medvedev stated. He added that the items were very expensive back in the 15th century and would have cost the equivalent of a new car today.

The items will now be sent to the Grunwald Battle Museum.The head of the Museum, Szymon Drej, hopes that his institution will be able to uncover more information about the objects

"The weapon set will now undergo conservation and research activities. We have some suspicions about the social status of the medieval owner of the sword and we are curious about what is hidden under the layer of rust" - Mr Drej explained.

The Battle of Grunwald, fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, was one of the largest battles fought in medieval Europe, with up to 70,000 soldiers participating.

The battle proved disastrous for the Teutonic Order, as most of their knights were either killed or taken prisoner. The Order never recovered after the battle and the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe shifted as a result, marking the rise of the Polish–Lithuanian union which became the region's dominant force for more than two centuries to come.