Norwegian Reindeer-hunter discovers 1100 year old Viking sword

Last time it was a group of Icelandic goose-hunters, this time it is a Norwegian reindeer-hunter who has found an incredibly preserved Viking sword. I think I should plan a salmon fishing trip in Denmark. I want to find a Viking sword…

From New York Post:

The incredibly well-preserved Viking sword was found by a reindeer hunter on a remote mountain in Southern Norway.

The Glacier Archaeology Program at Oppland County Council was recently notified about the sword, which was found in late August in the high mountains of the Lesja area. “It is a common type of Viking sword – what makes it special is the context and the preservation: It was found at 5381 feet above sea level,” explained Lars Pilø, an archaeologist at Oppland County Council, in an email to Fox News. “To my knowledge, a Viking sword has never been found at such a high altitude before.”

Researchers accompanied hunter Einar Ambakk, who found the sword, back to the site with a metal detector, but were unable to find any other artifacts nearby.

Pilø told Fox News that the sword had been lying on the mountain surface for around 1,100 years. “That a sword should survive more than a thousand years in the open is hard for some people to believe,” he explained, but added that, for professional glacier and high altitude archaeologists, it is less surprising. “Previously we have found iron arrowheads that are even older, with the same degree of preservation,” he added.

Pilø attributed the sword’s incredible preservation to the excellent quality of Viking iron, as well as the cold, dry conditions on the mountain. Additionally, the sword was found lying in scree, or small, loose stones, as opposed to soil, which helped preserve it, he said. “Just to be clear: the sword is not from the ice, though of course it would have been covered with snow and ice for much of the year,” he said.

Under the right conditions, rust can be preservative. These were apparently ideal.

I want to thank the several TTAK readers who forwarded this onto me. If anyone ever surfs across something you think would be of interest to our readers, please drop us an email at


  1. Sam L. says:

    Very cool!

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Norwegian Reindeer-hunter discovers 1100 year old Viking sword

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