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‘Daddy I found a sword!’: 8-year-old girl heaves 1,500-year-old sword from lake mud

8-year-old Saga Vanecek, from Minneapolis, was playing in a lake in Sweden when she stepped on an Iron age era sword lying untouched in the mud. It is being studied and could predate the Vikings.
8-year-old Saga Vanecek, from Minneapolis, was playing in a lake in Sweden when she stepped on an Iron age era sword lying untouched in the mud. It is being studied and could predate the Vikings. Facebook/Screenshot

An ancient lake in Sweden held a secret for one Minneapolis girl over the summer. Now, her extraordinary find is being studied by archaeologists and could end up in a museum, the BBC reported.

Andy Vanecek wrote on Facebook that it was right before the kickoff to a World Cup soccer match in July when his daughter Saga, who was playing in the lake, suddenly shouted for him.

“She picked up the object, lifted it high above her head, and shouted as if she was Pippi Longstocking, ‘DADDY! I FOUND A SWORD!’”

It wasn’t just any sword. Experts believe the weapon she hauled out of the mud could be as old as 1,500 years, NPR reported. That would predate the Vikings, who became active a few hundred years later.

“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, a Swedish news site. “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 sword even still had its sheath, made of wood and leather, NPR reported.

Vanacek wrote that an archaeologist came the next day with “goosebumps” and placed the sword underwater to preserve it.

Officials said they did not want to publicly announce the discovery until they had combed over the site for more artifacts, Time reported. So far, they found a brooch, but nothing else, according to The Associated Press.

Now plans are for the sword to make its way to museum.

“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,” Mikael Nordström from the Jönköpings Läns Museum said, according to Time.

“Now, questions are many, and 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. 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?” Vanacek wrote on Facebook. “The mystery will forever be known only to Lake (Vidöstern)…”

And as a Minnesota native, Saga’s dad got one extra kick out of the find than most.



“The cool thing is that I’m a huge Minnesota Vikings fan, and this looks just like a Viking sword!,” he said, according to The Local.

“Annie” the 2,300-year-old mummy that serves as a centerpiece for the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science’s new Egypt exhibit, was unveiled Wednesday morning. The exhibit, Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science, opens Saturday.

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