An engineer and a pipe layer working on a sewer in Aalborg, Denmark, were recently left stunned when they discovered a double-edged sword trapped within it. After showing archaeologists their discovery, they have learned that the sword dates back to the medieval era — and that an elite warrior who lived sometime during the 1300s was most likely the proud owner of this weapon.
As Live Science reports, the sword’s length has been found to be 3.6 feet (112 centimeters), and archaeologists from the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland have stated that purchasing a sword of this kind during medieval times would have been a very costly endeavor, one which only the nobility could generally have afforded.
“Acquiring a sword in the Middle Ages was an extremely costly affair, and only the warrior elite — who then consisted of the nobility — could afford to carry such a weapon.”
The neighborhood that engineer Henning Nøhr and pipe layer Jannick Vestergaard found the medieval sword in is located in Algade — and archaeologists are not entirely certain how the sword ended up being discarded here in the first place. However, they suggest that there is a good possibility that the warrior who owned it may have accidentally lost it during an intensely fierce battle, one that may have have taken place in Aalborg.
— Live Science (@LiveScience) February 8, 2019
Archaeologist Kenneth Nielsen has noted that while the medieval sword may have been detected within the waste of a sewer, this area was once located “on top of the oldest of Algade’s old pavements.”
The individual who expertly crafted this weapon added a blodrille, or “blood groove,” to it on each side of its long blade. However, rather than having been created as a place where blood can flow, as the name implies, this sword’s blodrille was actually put in place to keep the weapon much more light and narrow than it would have been otherwise.
Besides the blodrille, the medieval sword recovered in Denmark also has a straight crossguard and a pommel on it, which is a knob that was fashioned into a disc shape on the weapon’s hilt.
Archaeologists are still trying to determine this sword’s exact age. It has been suggested that it may have originally been crafted in the 1100s, yet was still in use during the 1300s when it was finally lost for good, with this evidence being supported by the battle scars left on the sword.
While sewer excavations continue in Denmark, the sword which was recently discovered will be now be cleaned up — and safely preserved within the confines of the Aalborg Historical Museum.