Researchers are working to determine the origin of a 1,000-year-old Viking sword found in the remote mountains of southern Norway last month.
Einar Ambakk, a reindeer hunter, said he saw the blade sticking out of the rocks in the remote area, but didn’t realize it was a sword until he picked it up.
The Glacier Archaeology Program at Oppland County Council learned about the sword, which is believed to be from 850-950 AD, and researchers traveled with Ambakk to the location where the weapon was discovered. The exact location was found using GPS data from photographs taken by Ambakk when the sword was first found.
But despite extensive searching, no other artifacts were found, further adding to the mystery surrounding the sword. Researcher Lars Pilø questioned why a Viking would be in the remote area carrying only his sword or why a Viking would have left behind such a precious item.
“It seems likely that the sword belonged to a Viking who died on the mountain, perhaps from exposure,” Pilø said. “However, if that is indeed the case, was he traveling in the high mountains with only his sword? It is a bit of a mystery.”
Pilø suggested the sword bearer may have become lost, possibly in a snow blizzard.
Nonetheless, the sword was, “well preserved without any kind of scratches and bending,” due, in part, to the quality of the iron. Pilø said the sword likely would have had either a wooden or leather grip, but it has long since wasted away.
[ RT ]