Viking sword found in 2017

Viking age swords found in Norway, on display at the Bergen Museum. “Viking Swords” by arnybo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On 9/5/17, Secrets of the Ice reported Breaking News: A Viking Sword Found at High Altitude. Many other news sites reported this as well, but the articles I read point back to this article and appear to be mostly a rewrite. (I’m slowly catching on to the idea that is what most news reports are – a rewrite of someone else’s report.)

From the report and pictures, the sword appears to be in wonderful condition. It was found at 5,380 feet above sea level in a spot which would be frozen and under snow about six months a year. Article says there would be low humidity in the summer. That provides the environment allowing this sword to be so well preserved.

Initial estimates in other news reports place this from about 750 A.D., which is early in the Viking age. Reason for that age is not given.

Measuring from the photo, it looks like the sword is about 38 inches long. The weight is not mentioned in the report.

Searchers from the Secrets of the Ice agency searched the spot where the sword was recovered (GPS data embedded in the initial photo provided the exact location.) After a visual search and use of metal detector, nothing else was found within 60 feet of the initial find.

Oddity which will need to be pondered latter is how one sword came to be here when there is no other metal in the area. No one would knowingly abandon a sword, which would be one’s most valuable possession. Someone dying in a blizzard or from the elements would have also left other metal, whether a brooch, a few coins, shield boss (metal handle on a shield), ax head, or even a sheath for the sword.

To appreciate the 2017 find, compare the smooth edges in the photo at the article linked above to the jagged edged swords on display in the photo included in this post.

Reproduction Viking sword. This re-enactor plays a rather rich Viking since he has not only a sword but helmet as well.  – “Viking Sword” by Lil Shepherd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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