1,200-Year-Old Viking Sword Discovered On Norwegian Mountain
Published in Dec 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
Hikers stumbles upon a Viking sword that may be 1,200 years old while walking along an ancient trail in Norway.
Reindeer hunter Einar Åmbakk and his two friends were hunting in the high mountains of Oppland County, Norway.
At one point, Åmbakk happened to look down and spotted this ancient sword lying in between the rocks.
The sword had rusted, and any coverings that had once adorned it were gone. According to reports, the coverings were organic materials such as leather or wood.
Following the find, the hunters posted a picture of the sword on social media. This spurred researchers further to investigate the sword and the site of discovery.
Åmbakk and his friends later lead a metal detectorist, an archaeologist, and researchers from the Norwegian glacial archaeology organization Secrets of the Ice to the discovery site.
The team examined about 22 surrounding yards of the site but didn’t find other artifacts, bones, or any other indications of human existence.
It seems the sword was just lying there for more than a thousand years. Constant cold in the mountain, dry air, high altitude with thinner oxygen levels, and heavy snow may have helped preserve it.
Researchers also determined that the sword dated back to 850-950 AD, and they linked it to a Viking warrior. However, they couldn’t explain how it got there.
Secrets of the Ice said:
“It appears unlikely that the sword has reappeared on the surface due to permafrost movement of stones. It is well preserved without any kind of scratches and bending.
“It’s [possible the sword] was still in its original position or had slid somewhat down between the stones.”
A Viking warrior’s most valuable possession was his sword. It defined them.
Most warriors decorated their swords with precious stones such as copper, silver, or bronze on the hilt. This displayed the social status of its owner.
Also, Viking warriors named their swords. Meofainn (decorated down the middle), Gramr (fierce), and Fotbitr (leg-biter) are some of the well-known names.
The warriors kept them close at hand, even while sleeping.
Many passed down their swords from generation to generation, while others were buried with them.
So, how did this particular warrior lose his sword? Researchers didn’t find any burial sites around or any other evidence of weapons or armor.
Also, why was this Viking alone? Researchers theorize that the warrior left the sword after they couldn’t find their way home during a horrible blizzard.
Finding Viking hoards is common in Western Europe, especially the Nordic lands and Great Britain. Jewelry, household goods, coins, daggers, and pieces of armor are the usual artifacts. However, finding a sword is rare.