Eight-year-old Swedish-American girl pulls pre-Viking era sword from lake “It’s not every day that one steps on a sword in the lake!” Mikael Nordström from Jönköpings Läns Museum said when explaining the significance of the find. But that’s exactly what happened to Saga Vanecek, who found the relic at the Vidöstern lake in Tånnö, Småland earlier this summer.
“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 told The Local.
The water at the lake by the family’s summer house was low this year due to drought, which may have been part of the reason Saga was able to reach the sword. Because of this, the family was putting a buoy out in the lake to warn other boats of an underwater slab of concrete which was dangerous in the low water levels.
At first he thought his daughter had found a stick or a branch, but realized from the way it bent that it could be a sword — although even then, he thought it could be a modern toy. The family asked their neighbours and one of Vanecek’s colleagues, who has an interest in history and archaeology, and they said the relic was likely authentic and should be reported to authorities, which the Vaneceks did.
It was initially reported that the sword was at least 1,000 years old, but the museum later contacted The Local to clarify that they believe it may be even older, estimated to date back to the 5th or 6th century AD, pre-Viking Age. The find has prompted huge interest from archaeologists and historians.
“It’s about 85 centimentres long, and there is also preserved wood and metal around it,” explained Mikael Nordström from the museum. “We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword.”