Hunters find Viking sword

The 1,100-year-old relic was found higher in the mountains than any previous such objects

The Local

Reindeer hunters in Norway’s Oppland county have created excitement among experts at home and abroad after discovering a Viking sword thought to be from around A.D. 850 to 950.

Regional archaeologist Espen Finstad called the find in the Lesja region of the mountainous county “fantastic.”

“This is a completely fantastic finding of a sword that has survived incredibly well over 1,100 years,” Finstad said to broadcaster NRK.

Discovery of Viking relics high in the Norwegian mountains is remarkable in itself, he added.

“We have searched the area in a radius of around 50 meters and have used a metal detector but found no other objects. So it’s a mystery as to why the sword was in that particular place,” he told NRK.

One theory of the sword’s origins is that its owner was lost and died in the wilderness. Should that be the case, the man himself would have been preserved in the ice if he had died just a few hundred meters to the east, Finstad told the broadcaster.

Although several hundred similar Viking weapons have been found in Norway over the years, the new discovery is the first at such a high level in the mountains, according to Finstad.

The relic was found by hunters Geir Inge Follestad and Einar Åmbakk from the Østra region, according to the report. The two then alerted local archaeological authorities.

The site of the discovery is three hours from the nearest road, writes NRK.

“We thought a lot about it afterwards. We understand that it is quite special,” Åmbakk told Vigga.

The sword’s good condition owes much to the presence of snow and freezing conditions in the region for most of the year, Finstad said to NRK.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the Sept. 22, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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