A rare, intact Viking sword was recently found in the mountains in Norway. Almost as interesting as the find itself, is the manner in which it was found.
Three reindeer hunters were out on a hunt in the mountains in Oppland, Norway when they found the sword stuck between some rocks, with the blade sticking out. After being analyzed, it has been determined that the ancient weapon is around 1200 years old and most likely belonged to a Viking swordsman.
The blade was quite rusty, but the fact that it survived at all means that it was probably constructed of very high-quality iron to begin with. It also probably once had a hilt made of bone, wood, leather, or some combination of the three. That part of the sword, however, did not survive since it was made of organic matter.
At first, some suspected that melting of the permafrost or stone movement might have caused the sword to reappear. After studying it, though, archaeologists believe that it was found exactly where it was first left. This is because it did not have any scratches or bending, as would normally occur if it had been buried for some time below the frost layer. The weapon was probably covered in snow most of the time, making it hard to find. The hunters just got lucky.
As of now, no one knows for sure why the sword was left there. There was no evidence of a burial nearby, so it is unlikely that it formed part of a burial treasure. A sword like this would also have been very expensive, so it is doubtful that it would have been carelessly left there by its owner and forgotten. It probably would have been the most valuable possession of its owner.
The most probable explanation is that the Viking who owned it died on the mountain, possibly from exposure, and probably alone. He could have become lost in a blizzard while traveling through the mountains, for example. Why he would have been traveling alone in such dangerous conditions is unknown. No human remains were found, and unless they are, it is probable that we will never know the full story of how the sword came to rest in the lonely Norwegian mountains.