An eight-year-old girl pulled a pre-Viking-era sword from a lake in Sweden, in a tale reminiscent to the lore of King Arthur and Lady of the Lake.
Swedish-American Saga Vanecek found the relic during a summer trip with her family at Vidostern Lake in southern Sweden.
“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 English language news site 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.”
The 85-centimetre sword was found in a sheath made from wood and leather, and originally thought to be around 1,000 years old. However, experts at a local museum now believe the sword to be 1,500 years old.
Mikael Nordstrom of the local Jonkoping County museum told The Local the museum believes the relic dates back to 5th or 6th century AD, pre-Viking Age.
“We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword,” Nordstrom said. “The conservation process takes quite a long time because it’s a complicated environment with wood and leather, so they have several steps to make sure it’s preserved for the future.”
The girl’s father, Andy Vanecek, said on social media post the relic is believed to be “the first sword of its kind to ever be found in Scandinavia.”
“Now, questions are many, and fantasies abound as we wonder what happened so long ago which led to a sword, in its scabbard, being lost to the bottom of the lake,” he said.
Local residents have mused about calling Saga the next Queen of Sweden, referring to the lore of King Arthur, his sword Excalibur and Lady of the Lake.
The museum noted it remains unclear how the sword ended up in the lake, while other ancient findings were made in the area.
“We do not know why the sword once got into the water, but when we investigated the site in September together with the county administrative board, further prehistoric findings were made, including a costume.” Nordstrom said.