On July 15, 8-year-old Saga Vanecek was playing in Lake Vidöstern in Sweden. She came across something she never expected to find – a 1,500-year-old sword.
Saga is from Minnesota, but moved to Sweden with her family last year. She enjoys swimming in the lake and playing around on her hands and knees. The water in the lake was especially low this summer because of the hot, dry weather. “I like to walk around finding rocks and sticks in the water,” she told Radio Sweden.
Försöker hon utmana vår utvalda drottning Saga?! ⚔️https://t.co/MRyJm7xugg
— Vigmund (@Vigmund2) October 5, 2018
But on this day, her hands found something besides rocks and sticks. It seemed to be a handle of some kind. As she pulled it up, she called to her father. “Daddy, I found a sword,” she told him.
The museum says that the sword, which is in good shape, comes from a time period before the Vikings – probably about 1,500 years ago. The sword is 33 inches (85 centimeters) long and is made of metal with a wood and leather handle. When Saga found it, the sword was still in its scabbard (cover), which was made of leather.
The museum and the local government asked Saga and her family to keep the story quiet for a while. They felt sure that the news of Saga finding a sword would bring many people to the area, and they wanted a chance to search before the area got too busy.
They have now searched the lake and the area around it. They had people walk through the lake in the shallow areas and sent divers down in the deeper places. They used metal detectors to help them, but they didn’t find much. One interesting thing they found was an old piece of jewelry that is even older than the sword. The archeologists are still trying to understand how these items wound up in the area.
The museum is now restoring the sword. They say that it will probably take them about a year. They have to go slowly because the metal, wood, and leather all need to be treated differently and they are all so old.
How did Saga feel about her discovery? “It was pretty cool and a bit exciting,” she says.
Jönköping County, Sweden
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