While swimming on her summer vacation, an eight-year-old girl wrested what she thought was a stick from a lake in Sweden. Instead, it turned out she had discovered a pre-Viking-era sword that archaeologists believe is over 1,000 years old.
“It’s not every day that one steps on a sword in the lake!” Mikael Nordström from the Jönköpings Läns Museum told Swedish outlet The Local.
According to the arts and cultural museum, the sword, which has preserved metal and wood around it, is about 33 inches long and believed to date back to the 5th or 6th century AD.
“We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword,” said Nordström. The family contacted authorities to report the startling find.
The sword’s discovery was not made public until this week, as museum officials said they worried too many people would rush to the lake.
Due to a drought, the water at the Vidöstern lake was reportedly especially low this year, which may have helped Saga’s sighting of the artifact.
“I was outside in the water, throwing sticks and stones and stuff to see how far they skip, and then I found some kind of stick,” she told The Local.
“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. I held it up in the air and I said ‘Daddy, I found a sword!
‘”The historic sword may eventually go on public display, but not for a least a year.
“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,” said Nordström.