The two swords spent around 1,200 years in the graves, and archaeologists are very excited by the find.
"We could see the handle of one of the swords sticking out of the ground, directly under the turf," archaeologist Anton Seiler said, according to the web page of "The Archaeologists," which are a part of the National Historical Museums of Sweden.
The large burial ground with ca. 100 graves – including two burial mounds – is located close to Köping in Västmanland County. It has been dated to the Late Iron Age, roughly 600 – 1000 CE.
The swords were discovered in one of the two burial mounds – and they were positioned to remain upright.
Both swords were planted into the ground in the middle of the graves. Photo: Arkeologerna / Statens historiska museer / CC-BY
"A bit of a sensation"
"In total, around 20 Viking Age swords have been found in Västmanland County before, so finding two of them in the same burial ground as we did, and also untouched in the graves, is a bit of a sensation. Especially as they are positioned the way they are," Seiler pointed out.
Experts are not sure why the swords were positioned to stand upright and planted into the ground in the middle of the graves.
One theory is that the swords were used to honor or commemorate individuals so that people could visit the site and touch the swords.
"Hopefully, the osteological analyses can answer whether these are men's or women's graves," he added.
The swords were carefully excavated. Photo: Arkeologerna / Statens historiska museer / CC-BY
Apart from the swords, other exciting artifacts and remains have also been discovered in the graves. These include cremated human and animal bones, a game piece, parts of a comb, and bear claws, to mention a few.
Archaeologist Fredrik Larsson said that the burial ground is somewhat unusual as it seems to be built on top of an older farm.
"We have examined the area in stages. There are farm remains beneath the burial ground that are even older, from the Bronze Age or earlier Iron Age. There are signs of iron making as well, so it's a very complex site," Larsson explained.
Archaeological excavations along the E18 motorway in Västmanland County, Sweden, have been going on for two years. The expert efforts have been launched because the motorway is to be extended between Köping and Västjädra.
The excavations have been completed, and the swords have been sent to expert conservators.
Archaeologists at work during the excavation. Photo: Arkeologerna / Statens historiska museer / CC-BY
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