Gøran Olsen was taking a hike in Norway's Haukeli region, a hunting and fishing spot around 240 kilometres (150 miles) west of the capital, Oslo. Beneath a few of the rocks on his path, he found a wrought iron 30-inch (72 centimeters) Viking sword.
Judging by the characteristics of the sword, archaeologists have said it is from around 750 CE – making it approximately 1,265 years old. It is believed the sword is either from an unknown burial site nearby, or the lost possession of a traveller who had an accident or succumbed to frostbite.
County Conservator, Per Morten Ekerhovd, told CNN, “It's quite unusual to find remnants from the Viking age that are so well-preserved ... it might be used today if you sharpened the edge." He added that the find was “quite extraordinary”. "It will shed light on our early history. It's a very [important] example of the Viking age.”
Due to the difficult process of extracting and crafting wrought iron in 750 BCE, Ekerhovd explained that swords such as these were often a status symbol in Viking culture, suggesting the owner was someone of great power and wealth.
The sword has been given to the University of Bergen for research and preservation, where they are planning a research expedition to the site next year, when the snow melts in Spring.