By Tim Binnall
An eight-year-old girl playing near a lake in Sweden unearthed a rather stunning find in the form of an ancient sword. According to a local media report, Saga Vanecek was at her family's summer home which sits on the shore of Vidostern Lake in the community of Smaland when she made the remarkable discovery. While throwing sticks and stones across the lake to see how far they would skip, the little girl reached into the water and grasped the handle of the sword.
Vanacek was amazed when she pulled the rusty weapon out of the water and realized what she had found. The girl's father initially thought that the nearly-three-foot-long sword was a toy or perhaps a relatively modern relic of some kind. However, a subsequent examination of the object by the Jonkopings Lans Museum revealed that it was, in fact, quite ancient. An assessment by experts suggested that the sword is at least 1,000 years old and may even pre-date the Viking age.
The discovery of the sword was kept under wraps by the Vanacek family and museum staff for the last few months so that archeologists could search the lake for other historic objects before word reached ambitious treasure hunters with a similar agenda. Although they did not find anything as amazing as Saga's find, teams of divers did recover a brooch and a coin from the 18th century. Much to the Vanacek family's delight, the sword is slated to be put on display at the museum at some point in the future once it has been properly restored.