WASHINGTON (SBG) – An Italian archaeology student with a sharp eye discovered something amazing while exploring a museum.
CNN reports Vittoria Dall'Armellina was a PhD student at Ca' Foscari University in 2017 when she visited the Saint Lazarus monastery in Italy. She noticed a metal sword, about 17 inches long, that looked similar to others she had come across in her studies.
Our source says the sword was labeled as a medieval artifact, but Dall'Armellina thought the object was much older than that -- so she took matters into her own hands.
CNN says Dall'Armellina -- with the help of the University of Padua -- analyzed the chemical composition and found the object is made of arsenical bronze, an alloy of copper and arsenic alloy. The alloy was typically used between the end of the 4th and beginning of the 3rd millennium BC.
It turns out her hunch was correct. Two years of research found that the sword is one of the oldest ones ever found, possibly dating as far back as 5,000 years ago, according to CNN.
"Swords are objects loaded with symbolic value," Professor Elena Rova, who supervised Dall'Armellina's doctoral research, told CNN. "They signify royalty, and a ruler's right to sovereignty -- take for example the legend of King Arthur. While this symbolism is well documented in medieval times, it has roots in much more ancient traditions."