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March 02, 2004

La spada nella roccia

The Gothic abbey at Montesiepi was built to honour the memory of Galgano Guidotti, a medieval knight said to have plunged a sword into a stone. New archaeological investigations seek to uncover a chamber beneath the evocative sword-and-stone combination.

"The sword has been considered a fake for many years, but our metal dating research in 2001 has indicated it has medieval origins. The composition of the metal doesn't show the use of modern alloys, and the style is compatible with that one of a 12th century sword," Luigi Garlaschelli, a research scientist at University of Pavia, told Discovery News.

By the summer, Garlaschelli hopes to excavate the area around the stone, in search of the knight's body. Indeed, ground penetrating radar analysis revealed the presence of a 6 1/2-foot by 3-foot room beneath the sword. "It could well be Galgano's tomb, [sought] for about 800 years," Garlaschelli said.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at March 2, 2004 01:03 PM