Field Museum Discovers its “Replica” Sword is Actually 3,000 Years Old


Just because something looks old, it doesn’t mean it’s actually old. There have been plenty of cases when antique items and artifacts have been considered authentic only to later be discovered as forgeries or replicas. But as the Chicago-based Field Museum recently discovered, the opposite can also happen.

While preparing their recent exhibition, First Kings of Europe, Field Museum decided to take a better look at one of their “replica” bronze swords. The sword was retrieved from the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary, almost a century ago and was considered to be “fake.” However, a group of Hungarian archaeologists who worked on the exhibition wanted to examine it nevertheless.

Field Museum experts and Hungarian archaeologists subjected the sword to a series of tests, including an X-ray fluorescence detector, and discovered a fascinating thing; it was real as it gets. The chemical makeup of the sword consisted of bronze, copper, and tin, almost identical to the chemical makeup of swords used in Europe during the Bronze Age.

Based on the results of the examination, the experts believe that the sword is around 3,000 years old. The guess is that the sword has been thrown into the Danube River during some ancient ritual.

After successful authentication, the sword is now displayed in Field Museum’s main hall, serving as a preview of the First Kings of Europe exhibition, which will be open for visitors on March 31, 2023.