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3,300-year-old sword pulled from depths of Italy river

Divers discovered an approximately 3,300-year-old sword in a lake in Italy, according to social media.

Divers discovered an approximately 3,300-year-old sword in a lake in Italy, according to social media.

Screengrab from Instagram

A trio of divers were swimming in a crystal clear lake in Italy when they spotted something nestled in rocks about 80 feet underwater.

It turned out to be an ancient weapon, Italian news outlet VeronaSera reported.

Gas Diving School of Barolino said three of its divers found the Bronze Age sword during a dive in Lake Garda in the spring. The divers immediately gave the artifact to a government archaeological group in Verona, and experts determined that the weapon dates to sometime between the end of the 13th century B.C. and the beginning of the 12th century B.C.

The school shared photos of the sword in a Nov. 17 Instagram post.

The weapon is approximately 18 inches long, and it has a relatively short blade, VeronaSera reported. It is a rare find for Italy, but similar discoveries have been made elsewhere in Central Europe and the Balkan area.

Experts believe the sword was placed in the lake as a gift, part of a Bronze Age practice of depositing swords and other important objects in rivers or lakes, GardaPost, another local outlet, reported.

Officials said the area where the sword was discovered is near a route where several ancient rock depictions were found, according to the news outlet. The depictions include weapons similar to the rock found in the lake.

Archaeologists are now working to determine where the weapon was made, but they said there was a known ancient production center in a nearby town, VeronaSera reported.

Lake Garda is in northern Italy, about 80 miles west of Venice.

Google Translate was used to translate an Instagram post from Gas Diving School of Barolino and stories from VeronaSera and GardaPost.

Moira Ritter covers real-time news for McClatchy. She is a graduate of Georgetown University where she studied government, journalism and German. Previously, she reported for CNN Business.

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