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Recovered the oldest known iron sword

The Provincial Museum of Ciudad Real has already included among its funds a jewel of Spanish Military History: the oldest known iron sword, made using the wrought iron technique in Spain's seventh century before Christ.

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Recovered the oldest known iron sword

The Provincial Museum of Ciudad Real has already included among its funds a jewel of Spanish Military History: the oldest known iron sword, made using the wrought iron technique in Spain's seventh century before Christ. It was in transition between the Bronze Age (and the Iron Age) periods.

Civil Guard officers located the sword last December in the context of Opera Panora, which aimed to stop illicit trafficking of cultural property online, plundering archaeological heritage and receiving stolen or looted art works. Agents discovered an advertisement that appeared on a website from Villanueva de la Fuente in Ciudad Real, claiming that a Roman sword was for sale at a price of 1,200 Euros. The weapon's characteristics were very similar to the unique mold used to make swords that was published in Ronda (Malaga), 1983.

After verifying the authenticity and age, the Civil Guard contacted the seller and he agreed to send the weapon to his expert opinion. It was analyzed by technicians from the Junta de Castilla­La Mancha Ministry of Culture. They confirmed that the sword was unique and had been taken from a tomb. The body of the owner warrior must also have been there. It is a rare find for its age. The handle is missing, but it is in good condition.

The Ministry of Culture technicians claim that the piece is unique due to its design. Perhaps because the owner asked the blacksmith to create a sword using the new metal iron, but keeping in line with their ancestors' weapons. The result was an iron sword with a too long blade, which was unusual for the time. These shorter-bladed weapons were used in hand-to-hand combat.

Francisco Tierraseca, the Government delegate in Castilla La Mancha, handed the sword over to the Provincial Museum of Ciudad Real. He stressed that "the concept regarding archaeological pieces is changing" because there is an illegal market that makes good use of the Internet. However, it is a fact, that donations to cultural institutions increase so that all citizens can have a heritage that is shared by all. The Government delegate acknowledged that Civil Guard agents and Culture technicians have done "coordinated and silent, prudent, and effective" work to ensure that this sword is not lost until it is analysed and transferred. It will be transferred to the Provincial Museum of Ciudad Real, where it currently occupies a preferred place.

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