I wrote a short post earlier today about J. Hutton Pulitzer's latest claim: an alleged Roman sword allegedly discovered some years ago in the waters off of Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Knowing nothing about Roman swords, I asked for assistance from whoever might be reading. An alert reader who identified himself as Doug Crowell pointed me in the direction of the website "Roman Officer Arts & Design," where a very similar sword is pictured. That website is attached to a store in South Beach, Florida, run by David Xavier Kenney.
For the sake of clarity, I'll call the sword in the Pulitzer article the "Nova Scotia sword" and I'll call Kenney's sword the "Florida sword."
We still don't know much about the Nova Scotia sword. As far as I know, the "white paper" that Pulitzer has promised is not available. I emailed Pulitzer to ask when it will be available. I will let you know if/when I get a response.
Kenney's description of the Florida sword (with images dated 2005) identifies it as Roman gladiator ceremonial sword made of "solid caste brass using the lost wax technique," dating to the 2nd-3rd century AD. Kenney says the sword came from "An Art Dealer from the Netherlands, purported to have originated from a German Collection." He says the sword appears in the series Experiencing Rome -- I'm going to try to get it though the library.
The hilts are so alike that I originally wondered if these could actually be the exact same sword. The blades of the swords appear to differ in length, however, with the Nova Scotia sword being at least a few centimeters longer (it appears to measure about 50 cm in the photo in the article, while Kenney says the Florida sword is 46.5 cm long). When you scale the Nova Scotia sword so that the size of the hilt matches the size of the hilt on the Florida sword, it appears much longer than the Florida sword. Apparently one or both photos were taken at a somewhat oblique angles.
"There have been several extremely important new discoveries made concerning ancient non-indigenous peoples in North America. Two of the discoveries have been made by separate historical archeological research teams; both of the team leaders have shared information that coincides with some of my research on this subject."
(As you might guess, Kenney's main interest in pre-Columbian contact with the America's is the Romans: you can read about it on this page.)
Is Hutton Pulitzer one of the "archaeological research teams"? Do Kenney and Pulitzer know each other?
What are the chances that a sword nearly identical to one kept in a Florida collection turns up in Nova Scotia?
Perhaps all of these questions will be addressed in the "white paper" when it is released.
I've sent out some feelers to my friend who work in the Mediterranean, hoping to get some decent opinions about the sword(s) and whether or not they could be Roman. I have also inquired to the email address on the Roman Officer website about any additional details available about the Florida sword. I'll let you know what I find out.