OSLO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A viking sword that is more than 1,000 years old and preserved in perfect condition has been found by a hunter in Norway, newspaper Aftenposten reported Saturday.
Reindeer hunter Einar Ambakk stumbled upon a brown object sticking out of stone mass when he and his fellow hunters were following reindeer tracks in Reinheimen, an area in central Norway where they had never hunted before.
"When you arrive to this age, you have to watch where you step. There were a lot of loose stones and you had to look down. That is when I saw that there was a brown object in front of me," Ambakk said.
"I bent down to see what it was. At first it looked like a rusty iron rod. But when I pulled it up, I saw that it was a sword," he said.
"We understood that it was an old sword, but considered it must have been made in recent times, even though it was roughly wrought and well made," he said.
Ambakk informed local archeologists and experts, who thought this was "too good to be true" and wanted to see the location of the finding themselves.
The sword was found 1,640 meters above sea level and was halfway visible for over 1,000 years.
"When the pictures were shown on the phone, I jumped in the chair. There has, as far as I know, never been found a sword in that height. It is very rare to find such a well-preserved sword," said archeologist Lars Holger Pilo.
"We have investigated, and it is a viking sword. The hilt - the sword handle - consists of two types of handles. Probably the sword has been repaired, but we assume it is from the 800s or early 900s," he said.
According to Pilo, it is challenging to speculate about the reason why the sword had so far not been found.
"People have probably moved outside this scree. And you could not see the sword from a distance. The mountain is big, and in these areas it is probably only reindeer hunters that walk around. Fortunately for us, these hunters have their eyes open," he said.
"The context itself - that is found so far to the mountains - makes this extra special. What kind of viking leaves his most precious thing in the mountains? Probably the owner has disappeared or lost the sword. Perhaps he first lost the sword and died somewhere else, perhaps in bad weather or snow storm," Pilo added.
The sword was examined Monday by the archaeologists in Lillehammer and it will soon be transported to the Cultural History Museum in Oslo for further research and conservation, Aftenposten reported.