A hiker who was traveling on an ancient route in southern Norway discovered a sword that dates back 1,200 years, CNN reports.
The artifact dates from about 750 AD and was found to be in exceptionally good condition. A local archaelogist even said that the weapon would be strong enough to use today if it were given a new polish and grip, according to the Daily Mail. The sword is 30 inches long and is made of wrought iron.
Outdoorsman Goran Olsen found the ancient weapon when he was hiking and decided to take a rest in Haukeli, a popular fishing and hunting area located approximately 150 miles from Oslo.
The weapon was lying beneath some rocks on a path across a high mountain plateau, which runs between western and eastern Norway.
Viking warriors often performed raids that originated in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and made themselves known as fierce and brutal warriors on the European mainland between about 750 and 1100 AD. Their experiences at sea led them to settle in lands like Ireland and the U.K.
The Vikings used weapons for practical purposes like battle, but also as symbols to display status and wealth. Swords were especially expensive to make and indicated high status for those who carried them.
“It is unusual to find a sword of this type today,” said Jostein Aksdal, a member of the Hordaland County Council who examined the sword. “It was a costly weapon, and the owner must have used it to show power.”
Aksdal said that a team will check the location where the sword was discovered in the spring, when the snow has melted, according to The Local.
“If we find several objects, or a tomb, perhaps we can find the story behind the sword,” he said.
At this time, no further details are known about the well-preserved, double-edged sword, or where it might have originated from.