One of the sword handles could be seen sticking out directly under the grass. Over 20 Viking Age swords have been found in Västmanland before, but never in the same graveyard. Their position was especially striking, according to experts.
Archeologists have come across a stunning find. Experts have stumbled across two ancient Viking swords in a graveyard just outside of Köping, Sweden. The ancient swords are believed to have been buried vertically more than 1,200 years ago. According to Anton Seiler of the National Historical Museums, one of the sword handles could be seen sticking out directly under the grass. There are approximately 100 graves in a large cemetery near Köping, in the province of Västmanland. The burial mounds date to the late Iron Age, between 600 and 1000 AD. The swords were found unexpectedly in a burial mound.
A sensational find
Approximately 200-300 years after the original tomb was built, the Swedish archaeologists report, the people of the area returned to the mound and built three new stone tombs over it. The first contained a large number of beautiful glass beads; the other two, had swords nailed right in the middle of their tombs. Seiler noted that this was an unusual occurrence. It’s a bit of a sensation to find Two Viking Age swords in the same graveyard, and still intact. Over 20 Viking Age swords have been found in Västmanland before, but never in the same graveyard. Their position was especially striking, according to experts.
Honoring the deceased?
Why the swords were placed in that particular position is difficult to determine. However, their placement at a very shallow level indicates that perhaps they were placed to honor and remember the deceased. The swords were accessible for others to touch because they were on display. Buried but left out enough of the grave to be touched. In addition, experts have yet to discover why a number of individuals were later buried in the grave. This may have had to do with kinship or marking an affiliation. Hopefully, osteological analyses can provide answers whether it is a male or female grave, experts have revealed. The graves also contain cremated human and animal bones, a game piece, comb pieces, and bear claws that were possibly part of a bear trap.
A re-used ancient site
A noteworthy aspect of the cemetery is that it appears to be built on the site of an older farm. The area has been investigated in stages. Older farm remains can be found beneath the churchyard, which date back to the Bronze Age or even the Iron Age. Archaeologist Fredrik Larsson explained that the place may have also been used to manufacture iron, so it is a very complex place. Due to the upcoming widening E18 between Köping and Västjädra, the main archaeological excavations along this road have been underway for two years. Now that the excavations have been completed, the swords have been safeguarded for preservation and museum display.