Two years ago, a girl from Sweden found a 1,500-old sword in the shallow waters of a lake.
When we were kids, whenever we were outside, playing in the garden, in the woods, or at the beach, we all dreamed of finding something centuries-old, valuable, and unique.
Treasure hunting games are always among the children’s favorites, but can you imagine being so lucky to actually come across a 15-centuries-old sword in a lake? Well, one then-eight year- old girl from Sweden was!
Saga Vanecek and her family had a cottage on Lake Vidöstern in Tånnö, an area of southern Sweden. Two years ago, the water level had been very shallow, due to drought, and according to her dad, it was the hottest summer in 260 years.
Luckily, these were perfect conditions for the girl to discover the ancient relic!
“I waded into the water and it was very soft on my skin and refreshing, a little bit cool but not too cold. It was a nice feeling because the sun was shining and I was very hot.
Daddy was begging me to rush so he could watch the World Cup final, but I like to take my time about things so I ignored him.”
She was looking for skipping stones, and crawling along the bottom of the lake when she spotted it:
“My hand and knee felt something long and hard buried in the clay and sand. I pulled it out and saw that it was different from the sticks or rocks I usually find.”
Even though she didn’t know what it really was, she realized it had a handle on one end and a point on the other, so she picked it up in the air, and turned to her father:
“Daddy, I’ve found a sword!”
At this point, her father said this little heroine looked like Pippi Longstocking!
Andy Vanecek initially thought his daughter had found an unusual stick or branch in the water. Yet, Saga got upset when he asked to have the weapon, explaining that it was “her sword”, but as it eventually started bending, she gave it to him.
The girl went to tell her mother and other relatives about her discovery, and the father started investigating the matter. Saga said he went to show it to their neighbors, “whose family has lived in the village for more than 100 years” and they thought it looked like “a Viking sword.”
Yet, when the sword was taken to an archaeologist, the excited woman estimated it to be over 1,000 years old!
Further testing showed that the valuable find was more than 1,500 years old. The family was then asked to keep the discovery a secret until archeologists could check the lake for other artifacts.
Saga added she confided to only one of her best friends, Emmy, who told her parents about it, but they “promised not to tell anybody else.” Saga’s sword is now in a museum, but the girl is hoping to raise enough money for a replica she can keep.
Saga’s father added that they find it “cool”, that the sword his daughter found will be in a museum, “and it might even say ‘Saga’s sword’ and it might be there for thousands of years.”
Mikael Nordström from the museum, explained:
“It’s about 85 centimeters long, and there is also preserved wood and metal around it. We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword.
The conservation process takes quite a long time because it’s a complicated environment with wood and leather, so they have several steps to make sure it’s preserved for the future.
Why it has come to be there, we don’t know. When we searched a couple of weeks ago, we found another prehistoric object; a brooch from around the same period as the sword, so that means – we don’t know yet – but perhaps it’s a place of sacrifice. At first, we thought it could be graves situated nearby the lake, but we don’t think that anymore.”
Afterward, archeologists also excavated an 18th-century coin. Interestingly, the friends of the family had joked that the discovery made Saga the new Queen of Sweden, and many agreed with them!