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Fragments of 1,000-year-old grenades discovered in Jerusalem

Fragment of a 1,000-year-old grenade was discovered in Jerusalem - Photo 1.

Pottery fragments containing explosives left over from the Middle Ages – Photo: SKY NEWS

Fragments were discovered in the Armenian – one of the main streets of the Citadel in Jerusalem. This is also where researchers have unearthed a large number of relics dating back to the Byzantine Empire (330-1453).

Archaeologists believe that one of the Armenian fragments contains the chemical composition of “a medieval grenade”.

The Byzantine Empire was known for its early use of heat-seeking weapons, based on the invention of a combustible compound called “Greek fire”. In those days, Greek fire was a powerful weapon based on naphtha and quicklime, capable of burning enemy ships.

The Byzantines packed the compound into stone, ceramic, and later glass containers to create Medieval grenades, even before the Chinese used gunpowder for war purposes.

The findings are outlined in research led by Professor Carney Matheson at Griffith University in Australia and published in the scientific journal PLOS One.

“These grenades were thrown at enemy strongholds during the Crusades creating loud noises and bright flashes of light,” Professor Matheson said.

According to the sheet Insider, researchers previously thought that medieval grenades contained gunpowder. But gunpowder, first invented in China, did not appear in the Middle East until the 13th century.

The Crusades – a series of religious wars led by European Christians to conquer Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rulers – took place from 1095 to 1291.

Professor Matheson said the study was significant because it “improves our understanding of medieval weapons in the Middle East” and verifies the Crusader narrative.

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