A Viking sword has been discovered by a hiker in Norway. Goran Olsen was hiking along a historical route in the Haukeli region when he caught sight of the extraordinary object hidden within the landscape.
The sword is believed to date from 750 AD and remains in exceptionally good condition. The ancient weapon was found on a high mountain plateau partly concealed by rocks, which explains why it had not been discovered before. The fact that the ground in this area is covered with snow for over six months out of the year, as well as the low levels of humidity in the summer months, probably contributed to keeping the artifact in such a pristine and unspoiled state.
The sword measures around 30 inches in length and lacks a handle. Experts from the Hordaland County Council in Norway say it could have been from a burial site or might have belonged to someone who died due to the severe cold on the plateau. Archaeologists say it is very likely the sword belonged to a wealthy individual, as in ancient Norway a sword of this type was considered to be a status symbol. In any case, the relic will surely contribute to further historical investigations into the Viking past.
The sword is now undergoing further research and preservation work at the University Museum of Bergen.