Eagle-eyed customs agents find Bronze Age sword in parcel marked “interior decorations”
An ancient 4,000-year-old sword disguised as “interior decorations” has been seized by Polish customs officers after it was discovered being smuggled across the border into neighbouring Ukraine.
The rare 20-inch weapon which was broken into eight pieces dates back to the Bronze Age, around 2,300-700 BC.
Customs officials in the city of Dębica in southeast Poland became suspicious after seeing the eight carefully wrapped packages in protective foil had been labelled as “interior decorations” worth around PLN 8.
Following a scan, they opened the packages and discovered the eight pieces of rusted metal fitted together to form the sword.
Their ultimate destination was an address in the Czech Republic.
According to experts from the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments, the original surface of the badly damaged blade was furnished with decorative patterns.
They added that some of the damage was a result of its excavation from a location that has not been revealed.
Bronze Age swords first appeared from around the 17th century BC, in the Black Sea region and the Aegean as a development of the dagger.
They are thought to have become more widespread in Central Europe and Britain, as well as the Near East, Central Asia, Northern India and to China in the final centuries of the 2nd millennium BC.
Bronze Age swords were rarely longer than 30 inches and were made from 10 per cent tin and 90 per cent copper, both of which were in abundance at the time.
The sword has now been handed over to the regional protection office and authorities are said to be looking for where it came from.