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8-Year-Old Girl Finds Ancient Sword in Lake

Jönköping County, Sweden —(Map)

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.

This picture of Saga was posted on Twitter by a Swedish news site.

In July, 8-year-old Saga Vanacek found a very old sword in a lake in Sweden.
The lake water was low because of the hot, dry weather.
“Daddy, I found a sword,” she called to her father.

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.

Saga and her father told an archeologist  at a local museum about her discovery. Archeologists are scientists who study the past by looking for things left by people who lived long ago.

1,500-year-old sword found in a lake in Sweden
A local museum says the sword, which was found in its cover, is in good shape.
The sword was 33 inches (85 centimeters) long.
It was made of metal, wood, and leather.
(Source: Jönköping County Museum.)

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.

Divers from the museum searching for other artifacts in the water.
The museum and local government searched the lake.
People walked through the shallow areas, and divers searched deep places.
They used metal detectors, but didn’t find much that was interesting.
(Source: Jönköping County Museum.)

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.

A brooch from AD 300-400 found near Lake Vidöstern in Sweden.
Searchers found a piece of jewelry that is even older than the sword.
They still don’t know how these items wound up in the area.
(Source: Jönköping County Museum.)

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.


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