A Young Girl Plucked a 1,500-year-old Sword From Swedish Lake

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The historically significant find is believed to date back to the pre-Viking era. Now locals are hailing her as 'Queen of Sweden'. 

Last year a seven-year-old British girl stumbled upon a 4-foot-long sword in the same lake where King Arthur was said to have hurled Excalibur—it turned out to be a 30-year-old film prop. But one year later, eight-year-old Saga Vanecek found a real ancient relic, estimated to date back to the 5th or 6th century AD.

The American-Swedish sword finder recently moved with her family from Minneapolis to Sweden and was spending time in a lake near their holiday home in Jönköping County. While paddling in the lakes and skipping sticks and stones on the water Vanecek came upon the relic. The level of the water was extremely low at the time, owing to a drought, which is probably how Vanecek uncovered the ancient weapon.


Courtesy Jönköpings läns Museum

Vanecek explained to the Swedish-English newspaper, The Local, how she came across the ancient 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. I held it up in the air and I said 'Daddy, I found a sword!' When he saw that it bent and was rusty, he came running up and took it." 

The family notified authorities and the delicate relic is now being conserved by experts at Jönköpings Läns Museum.


Courtesy Jönköpings läns Museum

Anyone hoping to see the sword will have to wait at least a year, Mikael Nordström from Jönköpings Läns Museum told The Local, explaining: "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."