The low quality of the cast, particularly the features on the face of Hercules, suggest that this item would not have been gilt or covered in gold or silver leaf. Doing so would completely obscure the figure’s face. If this were an important item in the possession of a Roman general/admiral, then he would have wanted something that looked realistic.
2. The wear on the artifact did not seem to indicate that it was very old. I work with artifacts found in terrestrial contexts, not from maritime sites, but there was just too much of the artifact intact (not enough weathering), and the patina on it seemed a bit fake (you could see that it covered only parts of the figure’s face and body, but did not penetrate into the many nooks and crannies. Also, the patina itself is not consistent with what I know of water or lake patinas, that are generally yellowish in colour, not grey or green. Also, I was not sure why there was a patina on top of a patina (the grey on the green; seemed a bit weird to me).
3. The artifact was most certainly not ever a sword. Romans used iron swords, not bronze weapons. Also, there was no tang holding the blade to the hilt.
4. The blade itself was made by folding brass, not casting, which seems suspect, based on what I know of Roman bronze and brass casting, and the join between the hilt and the blade was really poorly done.
5. The fact that the sword had not disintegrated quite rapidly after being removed from its watery grave is highly suspect. Without conservation, one would expect the salt crystals that would have formed in the cavities and crevices of the object to rapidly advance oxidation, and large chunks would have been missing from the artifact as a result. This is not the case.
6. The manner in which the sword’s blade was dull. One would expect something really ancient to have no edge anymore, but the blade on the sword was thick and square, and it looks like it was never sharp. I say this because the brass was folded over the edge and had never been sharpened, although there had been a more recent attempt to sharpen the sword using a power tool.
7. Also, a couple of days after we filmed, I managed to find what looked like an identical sword for sale on ebay in Europe, and it was clearly labelled as a modern replica or souvenir.
8. The provenience of the sword is also highly suspect. If it comes from a shipwreck of Oak Island, an area that people have been crawling all over for the past century, then why have no other Roman artifacts been identified? Also, based on what I know of Roman ships, which were built hull-first and as such incredibly solid but not very flexible, the chance of one surviving the passage across the North Atlantic seems remote at best. They were coasting vessels. If we are talking about a Roman warship, these vessels were not very seaworthy. They were essentially long and narrow, oared vessels meant to be afloat for short periods, not for weeks on end."