A 14th-century sword pulled from a rock in the Vrbas River in Banjaluka has been cleaned and preserved and will be studied at the Republika Srpska Museum for more details to determine its origin, and will end up in permanent installation in a few months.
Museum adviser Janko Vračar told SRNA that the research concerning the sword’s origin was only at the beginning, and that the examinations conducted so far indicated that it dated from the 14th century, lacked a tip, so its typological forms would be a focus.
“The story of Excalibur of Banjaluka is only at its beginning. We will try to find out where it was forged in order to determine more precisely the period it was used and to relate it to certain personalities and events in the Vrbas Canyon between the 14th and 15th centuries,” said Vračar, who is also a historian.
He recalled the sword was found in the Vrbas River near the village of Rekavica, in the immediate vicinity of the medieval fortress Zvečaj, then a very important centre where fierce battles were fought in 1463 during the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia.
According to him, the X-ray showed no marks on the sword, so it is not known where it was forged.
“There is a symbol of a blacksmith’s workshop on most swords, usually in the form of a wolf, a forked cross or St Andrew’s cross,” said Vračar.
He pointed out the sword was well-preserved as it was not in contact with air and was covered with bed of tufa, which protected it from deterioration.
Vrbas is quite fast and blurry at the location where the sword was found, so it was not easy to see it since the river there is four meters deep,” Vračar said.
He noted that it was not so rare for a sword to be found in water, stating that 70 percent of swords were found in rivers or lakes in Europe alone.
“This is the fourth sword found in the river during my career. One item was found in 2012 in the Una River in Kozarska Dubica, then in the Sava River near the village of Kobaš outside Srbac. We were recently contacted from Sanski Most, where a sword was found in the river from the same period as the one from the river Vrbas,” Vračar said.
The sword was taken out of the Vrbas River on October 17.