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This sword was found in Langeid, in Bygland in Setesdal in 2011. It is a truly unique sword from the last Viking era, embellished with gold, with inscriptions and other ornamentation. The discovery of the sword had not been published until now, when it was first exhibited to the public at the Museum of History in Oslo.
The sword must have belonged to a rich man from the late Viking age, measures 94 centimeters and although the edge of the sword was rusty, the handle was very well preserved. But who is it and what are the decorative inscriptions on the sword. Was the owner of the sword part of the army of King Canute that attacked England in 1014-1015?
In the summer of 2011, archaeologists from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo discovered a Viking burial in the soil of Langeid in Setesdal, in southern Norway. In one of the tombs they found a surprising discovery.
Even after I started digging the grave, I realized that it was something special. The grave was very large and looked different from the other twenty burial graves. There were four holes caused by posts, ”explained the head of the excavation, Camilla Cecilie Wenn, from the Museum of Cultural History.
The post holes indicate that there was a roof over the tomb, proving that the tomb had a prominent place in the burial. When they explored the tomb, at the bottom they found the small fragments of silver coins. The coins they were from northern europe, one was probably from the German Viking era, while the other must have been a coin from the period of King Etelred II of Inlgaterra during the years 978-1016.
“When we were digging out of the coffin, we found metal on both sides, but it was difficult to tell what it was. Suddenly, a lump of dirt fell to one side and we could clearly see one of the objects. We were very surprised when we realized that it was the hilt of a sword. On the other side of the coffin, we observed that the metal was a large battle ax. Although the swords were covered in dust, we quickly realized that they were very special and unusual. They were placed there to protect the deceased from their enemies or it was simply a display of power.
Thanks to the charcoal from one of the posts in the ground shows that the tombs from around the year 1030, which places it in the last Viking era, this information fits perfectly with the discovery of the English coin.