Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dýre swyrd ómige þurhetone swá híe wið eorðan fæðm þúsend wintra þaér eardodon

A dear sword, rust bitten, as it with earth enveloped a thousend winters there grounded - Beowulf 

Icelanders on a goose hunt stumble on a tenth century Viking sword.

Five friends on a goose hunting weekend in the Skaftárhreppur district near the Skaftá river in South Iceland, killed nary a single goose, but they did bag a Viking sword. It wasn’t even buried, but found on the surface of the soil. One of the hunting party, Runar Stanley Sighvatsson, said: “It was just there, waiting to be taken up.” That is probably the result of last year’s severe glacial floods eroding the old lava fields which had enveloped the sword for hundreds of years and carrying it to the field where it was found.

It is a type Q sword from 10th century, possibly the first half of the 10th century. Experts suspect the sword was probably buried in a grave.

Finding a Viking sword anywhere is immensely exciting, but particularly so in Iceland where only 22 other Viking-era swords have been found. The last one was discovered more than 10 years ago.

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