Norwegian reindeer hunters find 1,100 year-old Viking sword

The Local Norway
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Norwegian reindeer hunters find 1,100 year-old Viking sword
Fritz Røed's monumet Sverd i Fjell (Swords in Rock). File photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Reindeer hunters in Norway’s Oppland county have created excitement amongst experts at home and abroad after discovering a Viking sword thought to be from around 850-950 CE.


Regional archaeologist Espen Finstad called the find in the Lesja region of the mountainous county “fantastic”.

“This is a completely fantastic finding of a sword that has survived incredibly well over 1,100 years,” Finstad said to broadcaster NRK.

Discovery of Viking relics high in the Norwegian fjell (mountains) is remarkable in itself, he added.

“We have searched the area in a radius of around 50 metres and have used a metal detector, but found no other objects. So it’s a mystery as to why the sword was in that particular place,” he told NRK.

One theory of the sword’s origins is that its owner was lost and died in the wilderness. Should that be the case, the man himself would have been preserved in the ice if he had died just a few hundred metres to the east, Finstad told the broadcaster.

Although several hundred similar Viking weapons have been found in Norway over the years, the new discovery is the first at such a high level in the fjell, according to Finstad.

The relic was found by hunters Geir Inge Follestad and Einar Åmbakk from the Østra region, according to the report. The two then alerted local archaeological authorities.

The site of the discovery is three hours from the nearest road, writes NRK.

“We thought a lot about it afterwards. We understand that it is quite special,” Åmbakk told Vigga.

The sword’s good condition owes much to the presence of snow and freezing conditions in the region for most of the year, Finstad said to NRK. 

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