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An eight-year-old girl discovered a sword during her family’s holiday in Sweden.
Saga Vanecek / ˈvænɛtʃɛk /, a Swedish-American girl, stumbled upon an unusual stick with a handle while playing in the shallow waters of Vidöstern lake near her family’s vacation house. Saga showed the item to her father, who assumed that the stick was a toy. After taking a closer look at the bizarre stick, Saga’s father decided to ask for help from a colleague who was interested in history and archeology.
The Vaneceks presented the artifact to local authorities, who confirmed that the item was indeed a sword, which turned out to be used in the pre-Viking Age. Experts from Jönköpings Läns [YAWN-cho-pings LANS] Museum identified the sword to be about 1500 years old.
The sword’s discovery sparked experts’ interest and prompted further excavation in the lake. In the succeeding projects, searchers dug up an 18th century coin and a brooch, a piece of jewelry usually pinned to a woman’s clothes.
Experts are uncertain how the sword and the other artifacts got into the lake. Their theory is that precious items used to be offered in the lake.
Immediately after Saga found the sword, museum staff instructed her family not to disclose the discovery to anyone. Authorities were concerned about the idea of people going to the lake and unintentionally destroying other possible artifacts in the area.
When Saga was finally allowed to share her discovery, she earned celebrity status and gave TV and radio interviews. A lot of people also began calling her the new Queen of Sweden. Moreover, there are talks that Saga might receive a reward for finding the sword.