An 8-year-old girl has pulled an ancient sword from a Swedish lake, prompting locals to jokingly call her the Queen of Sweden.
“It’s not every day that one steps on a sword in the lake!” Mikael Nordstrom from Jonkopings Lans Museum told The Local, and explained the artifact dates back to the fifth or sixth century, so the pre-Viking age.
Saga Vanecek came across the rusted relic when swimming with her family at Vidostern lake in Tanno, Sweden, 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 said, according to The Local.
“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty. I held it up in the air and I said, ‘Daddy, I found a sword!’ When he saw that it bent and was rusty, he came running up and took it,” the girl said.
Andrew Vanecek, the girl’s father, said the water at the lake by the family’s summer house was low due to drought, and he asked his daughter to place a buoy out in the lake to warn boats about a protruding piece of concrete.
“I asked Saga to bring the buoy, but she was taking her time like a kid does, playing in the water,” her father told The Local. “I was getting impatient because the World Cup game was about to start!”
When Saga returned with the sword, he initially thought it was a stick or a branch. Only when it began to bend did he realize it wasn’t made of wood.
“Fantasies abound as we wonder what happened so long ago which led to a sword, in its scabbard, being lost to the bottom of the lake,” Vanecek said on Facebook.
“Did someone fall overboard, or through the ice during a winter trek? Was a wealthy noble buried in the lake, as from a scene in ‘Game of Thrones’? The mystery will forever be known only to Lake Vidosten,” Vanecek mused.
“It’s about 85 centimentres long, and there is also preserved wood and metal around it,” said Nordstrom from the museum. “We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword.”
Excited by the spectacular discovery, locals have jokingly dubbed the 8-year-old “Queen of Sweden,” according to the report.
“The cool thing is that I’m a huge Minnesota Vikings fan, and this looks just like a Viking sword!” said Saga, who grew up in Minneapolis, and moved to Sweden last year with her family.
“It’s cool that it will be in a museum and it might even say ‘Saga’s sword’ and it might be there for thousands of years. We didn’t put it on Facebook or anything until yesterday, and now it’s really blowing up!” said the girl’s father.
It's official! With today's press release we can finally reveal what Saga found in Lake Vidösten this summer… a sword…
But people hoping for a good look at the sword will have to wait.
“The conservation process takes quite a long time because it’s a complicated environment with wood and leather, so they have several steps to make sure it’s preserved for the future,” said Nordstrom. He said it would be at least a year until the relic is ready for public viewing.
“Why it has come to be there, we don’t know,” he said. “When we searched a couple of weeks ago, we found another prehistoric object; a brooch from around the same period as the sword, so that means—we don’t know yet—but perhaps it’s a place of sacrifice. At first we thought it could be graves situated nearby the lake, but we don’t think that any more.”
Experts searching the area have not found anything close to the little girl’s extraordinary discovery.