8yo girl discovers 1500yo sword from Swedish lake
Saga Vanecek was skimming rocks at Vidöstern lake in Tånnö, Småland this summer when she made the “spectacular” discovery.
“I was outside in the water, throwing sticks and stones and stuff to see how far they skip, and then I found some kind of stick,”Vanecek told The Local.“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty. I held it up in the air and I said ‘Daddy, I found a sword!’ When he saw that it bent and was rusty, he came running up and took it.”
Estimated to be from the 5th or 6th century AD, the pre-Viking Age sword was sitting in half a meter of water when Vanecek spotted it.
“We were both in awe,” Saga’s father Andy told RT.
“Saga had butterflies in her stomach then, and it feels almost surreal now,” he said, adding that his daughter is delighted to be able to say that she found the amazing artefact.
The next day, archaeologist Annie Rosén from the Jönköping County Museum arrived to investigate. She took photographs and placed the sword in water so that it wouldn’t decompose after being exposed to air for the first time in more than 1,000 years.
Archaeologists believe the 85cm sword is about 1,000-1,500 years old, and from the Iron Age. It’s the first such discovery made in Scandinavia.
Despite being submerged for over a century, the sword is “exceptionally well-preserved with scabbard in wood and leather,” the museum said in a statement.
Vanecek was forced to keep her amazing discovery to herself for weeks, as the museum worried that if the story got out, people would flock to the lake in the hope of finding more historical treasures, which would impede their own search of the area. When archaeologists searched the surroundings in September, they unearthed a brooch used to pin clothing from around 300 AD.
“Why it has come to be there, we don’t know,” the museum said. “When we searched a couple of weeks ago, we found another prehistoric object; a brooch from around the same period as the sword, so that means – we don’t know yet – but perhaps it’s a place of sacrifice. At first we thought it could be graves situated nearby the lake, but we don’t think that any more.”
The lake was experiencing low levels in the summer, which likely led to Vanecek’s discovery.
This article originally appeared on RT.