Saga Vanecek was visiting her family’s summer home in Sweden when the eight-year-old plucked a pre-Viking-era sword believed to be over 1,000 years old from a lake she was swimming in, Time magazine reported.
The girl thought she had stumbled upon “some kind of stick” but, upon closer examination realized it was a sword.
“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty,” she said, according to The Local. “I held it up in the air and I said ‘Daddy, I found a sword!'”
Saga Vanecek’s parents reported the find to experts who confirmed that the 33-inch long sword preserved metal and wood dated back to the 5th or 6th century AD- well before the Viking era.
The find has astounded experts.
“Why it has come to be there, we don't know,” Mikael Nordström of the Jönköpings Läns Museum told The Local. “When we searched a couple of weeks ago, we found another prehistoric object; a brooch from around the same period as the sword.”
Nordström said the find could indicate the site was a place of sacrifice.
“At first we thought it could be graves situated nearby the lake, but we don't think that any more,” he said.
The girl’s imaginative father, Andy Vanecek, wrote about the discovery in a Facebook post, noting how there were more questions than answers.
“Now, questions are many, and fantasies abound as we wonder what happened so long ago which led to a sword, in its scabbard, being lost to the bottom of the lake,” he said. “Did someone fall overboard, or through the ice during a winter trek? Was a weatlhy noble buried in the lake, as from a scene in Game of Thrones? The mystery will forever be known only to Lake Vidösten.”
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