Museum Discovers That “Fake” Sword On Display Is Actually An Authentic 3,000-Year-Old Weapon

A museum in the US has discovered that a replica sword it had on display is actually a real 3,000-year-old weapon. Nearly 100 years ago, the Field Museum in Chicago acquired the bronze sword from Europe, but it was thought to be a well-made replica. But a new analysis of the sword revealed that the weapon is the real deal, dating back 3,000 years to the Bronze Age. The replica sword had been retrieved from the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary in the 1930s where it may have been placed in an ancient ritual 3,000 years ago to commemorate lost loved ones or a battle. When a group of Field Museum scientists, including a chemist, and archeologists used an X-ray fluorescence detector on the sword, its chemical makeup compared to other known Bronze Age swords in Europe were nearly identical. Bill Parkinson, a curator of anthropology at the Field, says he was surprised by the results. “Usually this story goes the other way round – What we think is an original turns out to be a fake.” The Bronze Age period is generally described as between 3300 BCE and 1000 BCE. While there is no way to tell if the sword once belonged to a king, it may have been placed in the river as part of a funerary ritual or battle memorial. The newly-authenticated sword will be on display at the museum from March 31st.

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