King Arthur, move aside for Saga Vanecek! This young Swedish-American girl was enjoying a summer day on the shores of lake Vidöstern in Tånnö, Småland (a province in southern Sweden) when she pulled a 6th-century sword from the water.
Saga spotted the sword as she was returning home, her father having called her inside so he could watch the World Cup game and not worry about her being alone outdoors.
“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,” Saga Vanecek said, “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.”
The sword and the broach
The Vanecek family quickly reported the find to authorities and the Jönköpings Läns Museum arrived on the scene to recover the priceless historical artifact. Mikael Nordström, on the museum’s staff, reports that they have no idea as of yet how the sword came to be there.
The museum sent a team to search the area where the sword was located and found a broach from around the same era as the sword.
A “place of sacrifice?”
The leading theory for why these objects were found in this lake is that it may have been a “place of sacrifice” for ancient Vikings. Some other possibilities include the objects falling from a boat or their owner breaking through the ice when trying to cross the lake during winter.
Historians requested that Saga and her family keep the discovery of the sword secret until just recently, to prevent treasure hunters from swarming the lake. The sword is currently being stored in Gothenburg, Sweden until it can be restored (extremely carefully), further studied, and eventually put on display.