Last summer a spectacular discovery of an Iron Age sword was made in the lake Vidöstern by a little girl. The 8-year-old stepped on the sword a bit out of the water next to a swimming area. The girl’s family contacted archaeologist Annie Rosen at Jönköping County Museum, who quickly realised that it was a remarkable and very interesting finding.
Saga Vanecek found the relic in the Vidostern lake while she was spending her summer vacation at her family’s holiday home in Jonkoping County. She showed it to her father who notified an archaeologist the very next day. Although they suspected that the sword was ancient they didn’t expect to hear that it was over a 1,000 years old. The depth where the girl found the sword is only about half a meter, due to drought.
The sword is in total 85 cm long and exceptionally well-preserved, including scabbard made of wood and leather. It has tentatively been considered to date to the Iron Age, that is at least 1,000 years, perhaps even 1500 years old.
We do not know why or how the sword had fallen into the water, but when further investigations took place at the site with the provincial government in September another prehistoric find emerged, namely a brooch from 300-400 century AD. The sword is currently undergoing conservation and it is kept at the Jönköping County Museum.
Several authorities will carry out further research at the site to find out if they can understand why the sword was found there. Could it be a place of sacrifice, a grave, or just a case of lost items?
The sword, according to an expert at the museum, Mikael Nordstrom, will be on display to the public after at least a year, since conservation work will take time.