Saga Vanecek is an eight year old girl living in Sweden. She spends her summers like so many other children splashing, swimming, and skipping stones at a lake near her home. But her normal summer fun turned into something truly magical. You see, this year Sweden (and much of Europe) experienced the hottest and driest summer in over 200 years. Saga was helping her father put out buoys to warn passing boats about the shallow water, and was having fun crawling on her hands and knees along the bottom of the lake searching for stones, when her hand fell on something surprising. She realized that the mystery object was long and pointy with a handle at one end. Sound familiar? It was a sword!!
Saga and her father took the sword to local archaeologists who told them it was over 1,500 years old and predated even the Vikings! They guessed that she’d been able to find it because of the low water levels, and said that nothing like it had ever been found in Scandinavia before. The archaeologists asked Saga to keep the sword a secret so that they could see if there were any other ancient treasures buried in the lake. Despite her excitement, Saga kept the sword secret, and scientists were able to find a brooch of the same age! The artifacts are now at the local museum where they will be preserved and shared.
You might also remember the story of King Arthur who was given a sword by the Lady of the Lake that made him king. Because of this, locals are now referring to Saga as the Queen of Sweden. But Saga says she would rather be a Vet or an Actress. Whatever she grows up to be, the magic of that summer and sword in the lake will become an important part of the local history and the archaeology of Sweden.
Want to hear the story in Saga’s words? Visit https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/19/experience-pulled-a-1500-year-old-sword-lake-saga-vanecek
Oct. 21, 2018