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Pre-Viking-era sword discovered by girl paddling in Sweden lake

The sword is estimated to be around 1,500 years old. Credit: Jönköpings Läns Museum

A rusty sword discovered by an eight-year-old girl in a Swedish lake is believed to be around 1,500 years old.

Saga Vanecek stood on the ancient relic while bathing at Vidöstern lake in Jonkoping County earlier this summer.

Experts initially estimated that the weapon was around 1,000 years old, but later concluded it dated to the 5th or 6th century AD - meaning the pre-Viking era.

Saga told The Local that she had been skimming objects in the water when she picked up what looked like a stick.

"I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty," she said.

"I held it up in the air and I said 'Daddy, I found a sword!'"

Saga Vanecek told her father she had 'found a sword!' Credit: EBU

Water levels at the lake had been particularly low owing to the summer's hot weather.

Saga's father showed the object to friends and a colleague, who convinced him that it could be an authentic sword.

Jönköpings Läns Museum said the sword, which measures 85 centimetres in length, was a find of significant interest.

"It's about 85 centimetres long, and there is also preserved wood and metal around it," Mikael Nordström from the museum said.

"We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword."

It is estimated that the conservation process could take up to a year to complete.

A brooch from around the same period was also discovered in the lake a couple of weeks ago.

The sword was discovered in Vidöstern lake. Credit: EBU