An amateur Israeli scuba diver found a 900-year-old iron sword off the country's Mediterranean Coast that experts believe belonged to a Crusader from the 13th century. 

According to authorities’ announcement of the discovery on Monday, the sword was uncovered by Shlomi Katzin, who was on a weekend scuba dive when “waves and undercurrents that had shifted the sand” revealed the relic hidden on the seabed.

Covered in ocean shells and seaweed, the 4-pound sword measured around 40 inches in length and the hilt about 14 inches, experts said.

“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” Nir Distelfeld, inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), said in the statement.

“It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor and swords.” 

Fearing the sword would be stolen or disappear back into the ocean, Katzin took the sword to the IAA. It is now being cleaned and inspected before it is displayed to the public. 

Its size and shape suggest it belonged to a Crusader, as does the fact that it was found just a few kilometers from Atlit castle, a former Crusader fortress, Koby Sharvit, director of the IAA's Marine Archaeology Unit, told CNN on Tuesday.