Saga Vanecek, 8, was having a normal day of play in Lake Vidostern this past summer. “I like to walk around finding rocks and sticks in the water and then I usually walk around with my hands and knees in the water and in the sand,” she told Radio Sweden, as reported by NPR.
That’s how she found it: a strange object in the water. It felt like a branch, at first, but when she lifted it up she saw the handle. A moment later, Saga knew just what it was and ran to show her father the sword.
She and her father reported the sword to Swedish authorities, who have now determined the blade to be 1,500 years old.
The sword is “exceptionally well-preserved,” according to the head of the cultural heritage department at the Jonkopings County Museum, Mikael Nordstrom. The sword is about 33 inches long and still has its sheath, which is made of wood and leather.
A second sweep of the lake uncovered a piece of jewelry made in the 300s or 400s. Additional searches of the area are planned, according to the BBC.
The sword is still being studied, and officials say it will be at least a year before it is put on display for the public.
Saga only recently moved to Sweden from Minneapolis. Her father is a Minnesota native.
Saga Vanecek, an eight-year-old Vikings fan originally from MN, recently found a Viking era sword at Vidöstern Lake in Sweden. Talk about showing your Vikings pride! #Skol Saga!
????: Andy Vanecek pic.twitter.com/V4qBrgTEMi
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 4, 2018
Locals in the area have been affectionately calling her the Queen of Sweden, as the story has some parallels to the famous Arthurian legend, according to the Daily Mail.
In legend, Arthur received his legendary sword, Excalibur, from the Lady of the Lake. The sword Saga found dates to the 5th or 6th century, which is the same time frame for the King Arthur legend. According to the legend, King Arthur’s death was not permanent. One day, he will return to rule all of Britain.
Or, you know, she.
long live Saga Vanecek, the once-and-future queen
— Kendall Todd (@KendallWCRB) October 4, 2018
The remarkable find is one of many in a long string of ancient artifacts and sites that people have been stumbling across all over Europe. A widespread drought has affected nearly the entire continent. Lakes and rivers are extremely low, and outlines of ancient sites have literally appeared in dry fields. People flying drones have found several long-lost structures that have thrilled the scientific community.
Several prehistoric Roman sites have been found, according to Smithsonian Magazine, and earlier this year it was reported that a 4,500-year-old henge was discovered in Ireland.