In the ancient lands of Europe, treasures from the past can still be found hidden throughout the landscape, and that is exactly what happened on a warm summer day this June. When a little eight-year-old girl named Saga was outside playing at the local lake.
Saga was throwing sticks and stones into the lake to see how far they could skip when she suddenly found something heavy and pointy. She dragged it out of the muddy water and held an ancient sword in her hands, that had not seen the light of day in nearly 1,500 years.
She held it up into the air in excitement and yelled: ”Daddy, I found a sword!” Who then came running down to the lake and took it from her.
Sword found at lake Vidöstern in Sweden
This lake where the sword was found, is called Vidöstern, and it is where the family has their summer house, and just like many other parts of Europe, it had experienced a hot and dry summer that lead to a heavy drought. And as a result of this drought, the water in this lake was lower than it normally was, which probably was part of the reason why Saga was able to find the sword.
The sword is about 85 centimeters long, and it still has the remains of its wood and leather scabbard. The sword is estimated to date back to the 5th or 6th century CE, which is a few hundred years prior to the Viking age.
According to Mikael Nordström from the local museum, the conservation process will take quite a long time, and he estimates that it will take at least a year to see the fine details on the sword. Let’s hope that the Swedish minister of culture does not interfere again, and turn this sword into metal scraps like it happened the last time.
Many people on Twitter have since then tweeted that Saga should be the new Queen of Sweden, because she found the sword in a lake, which would probably be an improvement, to be honest. But while the Arthurian legends of the sword in the stone and the lady of the lake, is a funny reference, it is not a Nordic saga.
However, it was very common to sacrifice valuable objects in lakes and bogs in Northern Europe both before and after the Viking age. So it is very likely that the sword was sacrificed to the Gods and Goddesses, in the hopes they would listen to the prayers and get their wished granted. Since swords was an extremely valuable object in Scandinavia, and only something that the wealthy people could afford to own.
The sword of Beowulf
The sword could even have belonged to the legendary Beowulf or someone from his tripe which was called the Geats who inhabited the southern part of Sweden in the 6th century.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward with excitement in what else might be found at the lake Vidöstern in the coming years by the Swedish archeologists. Let’s hope that the Swedish government will be willing to support further excavations in this area.