Nico Calman (inset), 19, dug up the fascinating weapon - believed to be the most remarkable artefact of its kind to have been discovered - at a burial ground in Haltern am See, near Münster. It is so well preserved that red enamel and glass (right), as well as silver and brass handles decorated with ornate patterns of foliage and leaves survived for 2,000 years. The dagger is believed to have been used by a legionary fighting a Germanic tribe in the 1st century.

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