Viking sword found during reindeer hunting

A well preserved Viking sword was discovered by a team of deer hunters at high altitude in Oppland, Norway.

(by Espen Finstad, Secrets of the Ice & Oppland County Council)

The deer hunters did not have a GPS to mark the place of the discovery but the location was possible to be established from the geographical data stored in the photos. According to the researchers who were called onto the site, the find spot is in a scree-covered area with traces of permafrost movement, situated at 1640 metres above sea level. The sward was found lying with the hilt down between the stones and half of the blade sticking out. The researchers have surveyed the are of the find up to a distance of 20 metres, and swept the area with a metal detector, not finding any other artefacts.

(by Einar Åmbakk)

The object was identified as a Viking sword, dated to c. 850-950 AD. The preservation is probably due to a combination of the quality of the iron, the high altitude and the mostly cold conditions as for most of the year, the find spot would have been frozen over and covered in snow. It is believed that the sword would most likely have had bone, wood or leather covering the grip, but the organic parts are no longer preserved. The researchers believe that the weapon might have been left behind or lost in a blizzard or belonged to a Viking who died on in the high mountains, possibly from exposure.

(after Secrets of the Ice, Einar Åmbakk, Espen Finstad, Secrets of the Ice & Oppland County Council)

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