Rare Viking sword found in Sudal

A farmer in Studal, Norway, has stumbled across a rare Viking sword while preparing his field for sowing new grass.

The sword was found by Øyvind Tveitane Lovr, who initially mistook the object for a piece of rusty farm equipment and nearly discarded it.

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Upon closer examination, he realised that it was actually the hilt of a sword and reported the find to local authorities at the Rogaland County Council.

Under Norwegian law, all finds that fall under the Cultural Heritage Act section 12 and section 14 are the property of the state and must be declared.

The surviving elements of the sword measures 37 cm in length, with around half the length of the blade now missing.

Image Credit : University of Stavanger

An X-ray of the sword by archaeologists from the Archaeological Museum of the University of Stavanger has revealed the outline of inscriptions with a cross pattern, and possibly letters along the length of the surviving blade.

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“This means that it could be a so-called VLFBERHT sword from the Viking Age or the early Middle Ages. These are high-quality swords produced in the Frankish Empire (now Germany) which are marked with the weapon manufacturer’s name,” said Sigmund Oehrl, from the University of Stavanger.

Out of the thousands of Viking swords discovered throughout Europe, only 170 have been found to have these inscriptions, with only 45 examples found in Norway.

Professor Oehrl suggests that the Studal sword was likely brought by Vikings who sailed into the Lovrafjord and dates from between AD 900 to 1050.

Archaeologists explored the find site but have found no further traces of the missing sword elements or associated objects.

Header Image Credit : Rogaland County Municipality

Sources : Rogaland County Municipality

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

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