An astonishingly well-preserved 1,100-year-old Viking sword has been discovered up a mountain in Norway.
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Einar Ambakk stumbled upon the weapon while reindeer hunting, and only discovered it was a sword when he pulled the blade out from in between rocks.
The rare find was reported to Lars Pilø, an archaeologist for Oppland County Council, who estimated that it dates back to the period 850-950.
Writing on his blog Secrets of the Ice, he said: ‘It appears unlikely that the sword has reappeared on the surface due to permafrost movement of stones, as it is well preserved without any kind of scratches and bending.
‘Most likely is was still in its original position or had slid somewhat down between the stones.
‘We surveyed the find spot closely, both visually and using a metal detector.
‘The survey, which covered a distance of up to 20m from the find spot, did not result in any further finds. The sword is thus an isolated find.’
The sword was found 1640m above sea level.
Mr Pilø said it was mostly preserved by the cold conditions, but also the high altitude and the quality of the metal.
He added that it was impossible to know what happened to the owner of the sword, which spent more than 1,000 years lying in the snow, but speculated they may have got lost and died on the mountain.