A hiker recently found a Viking sword, which experts believe is over a millennium old. A man in Norway made the discovery while walking along a well-treaded hiking path. The Viking sword is in relatively great shape and judging by its size, it is surprisingly light and agile.
While enjoying a leisure hike, Goran Olsen stumbled across a Viking sword. He discovered the historically-significant artifact near the fishing village of Haukeli, about 150 miles west of Oslo. The sword was under some rocks along a hiking trail that is quite commonly traversed by hikers who prefer a simple trail. The sword is in remarkable shape, especially for its age, which preliminary inspection indicates is over a millennium, possibly older.
County Conservator Per Morten Ekerhovd, who is quite ecstatic with the find, described the discovery as “quite extraordinary,” reported CNN. The Viking sword dates from approximately 750 C.E., added Hordaland County Council. Speaking about the sword and extolling the craftsmanship, Ekerhovd explained the find in detail.
“It’s quite unusual to find remnants from the Viking age that are so well-preserved… it might be used today if you sharpened the edge.”
The significantly rusted weapon is about 30-inch long and is made of wrought iron. Given the age and condition of the sword, one could easily assume the sword can’t be wielded again, However, owing to the remarkable knowledge the blacksmiths, and more specifically, swordsmiths of the time possessed, all the sword needs is a thorough polish and grinding to make it battle worthy again, reported The Local. Owing to the material of construction, archaeologists believe the Viking sword could be from around 750 C.E. If correct, the sword is about 1,265-years-old. Experts however caution that the age is merely a preliminary assumption and only further evaluation could yield a more accurate number.
The conservator quipped that the Viking sword merely needed a new handle and mentioned that the weapon might not have tasted blood. Ekerhovd noted that swords like these were often commissioned as a status symbol. He reasoned that purpose of the Viking sword could be ornamental because excavation and purification of iron was quite expensive during the Viking times and hence only the extremely wealthy could afford to possess a sword like this.
“It was a costly weapon, and the owner must have used it to show power.”
The hiker who found the sword has been gracious enough to hand the priceless artifact to the University Museum of Bergen, explained Ekerhovd.
“We are really happy that this person found the sword and gave it to us. It will shed light on our early history. It’s a very (important) example of the Viking age.”
The museum will work on preserving the sword and has planned to conduct a research expedition in the region where the sword was found. However, that could happen only in the next spring. Incidentally, it is the cold and rather harsh weather that has to be thanked for the remarkably well-preserved Viking sword, reported AOL.
The region where the sword was found is covered with snow and ice for six months of the year. Even during the rest of the months, the weather is quite cold and has very little moisture in the atmosphere, which helped preserve the sword.
The extraordinary find has scientists excited and they are already weaving plans to decipher the sword’s backstory and possibly find more artifacts, said Jostein Aksdal, an archeologist with Hordaland County.
“When the snow has gone in spring, we will check the place where the sword was found. If we find several objects, or a tomb, perhaps we can find the story behind the sword.”
[Photo By Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images]