Ancient Viking Sword Found By Goose Hunters In Iceland

Sep 08, 2016 07:30 AM EDT | J Russ I.

The sword is said to be over a thousand years old. Arni Bjorn Valdimarsson, along with five other men, were hunting geese in Skaftarhreppur, Southern Iceland when they stumbled upon the ancient weapon.

The men believed that flooding in the region caused the sword to end up where it was. "It was just lying there, waiting to be picked up - it was obvious and just lying there on the ground," said Runar Stanley, one of the five.

Valdimarsson then posted a pic of it to his Facebook page and promptly received a call from Iceland's Cultural Heritage Agency, which took possession of the sword for analysis Monday morning.

"We date the sword at this stage to circa 950 AD or even prior to that," said Kristin Huld Sigurðardóttir, the agency's director general. "We are very excited here as this is only the 23rd sword from Viking times found in Iceland."

The Viking weapon - a double-edged sword - was in a remarkably good condition save for the corrosion of the blade and the tip of it having broken off. But the agency is still thrilled at the find given at how old the artifact is and the years it's spent being out in the open.

"There might be some remains of scabbard on the blade but we will know more about this when the conservators have done a thorough search." The director general added that the five men discovered another relic but didn't disclose any information about it as they have yet to analyze the find.

The agency also didn't reveal the location from which the sword was found as they want to conduct a bit of digging around the area to see if there are other undiscovered artifacts.

Given the age of the weapon, Valdimarsson believes that the sword is the property of Ingólfur Arnarson, the man credited with founding Iceland around 870 AD. However, experts say that this is unlikely and are saving their speculation after a full analysis of the weapon is concluded.

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