Saga Vanecek, eight, finds 1500-year-old Viking sword in Sweden
HER name conjures up Old Nordic tales about heroic accomplishments and that’s exactly what Saga did when she stumbled on a pre-Viking-era sword in a southern Sweden lake.
Saga Vanecek, eight, was helping her father with his boat in the Vidostern lake when she stepped on an 85-centimetre sword in a holster made of wood and leather.
The sword is believed to be about 1500 years old.
“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,” Saga 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,” she said.
Experts are now working to preserve the relic before it’s eventually put on display at the Jönköpings Läns Museum.
Saga actually found the sword months ago but the news was kept under wraps so that researchers could have a chance to scour the area for other artefacts before everyone had the same idea.
Mikael Nordstrom of the local Jonkoping County museum said on Friday that the little girl’s find prompted others to seek out long-lost treasures in a lake that had been diminished by drought.
A broach from between 300 to 400 A.D. was eventually found, as well as an 18th century coin.
Mr Nordstrom said archaeologists are trying to understand why the items were there.
For sacrificial purposes is one suggestion.
Saga’s father, who just relocated the family from Minnesota to Sweden, said the find had special significance because of the family’s NFL team.
“The cool thing is that I’m a huge Minnesota Vikings fan, and this looks just like a Viking sword,” he said.