An eight-year-old girl has made a fascinating discovery while swimming in a Swedish lake – a pre-Viking-era sword.

Saga Vanecek found the 85cm weapon in Vidöstern lake in Jönköping County, southern Sweden, at a depth of around half a metre.

It is thought that the low water level – caused by a drought – contributed to Saga finding the sword.

The artefact, which is made from leather and wood, is estimated to be from the Iron Age and could be up to 1,500 years old, according to experts at a local museum who said it is ‘exceptionally well preserved.’

Mikael Nordström from the Jönköpings läns museum, which is preserving the sword, said: “It’s not every day that you step on a sword in the lake!”

Saga explained the event to the Sveriges Radio broadcaster: “I felt something in the water and lifted it up. Then there was a handle and I went to tell my dad that it looked like a sword.”

After this discovery, the museum and the local council found a third century brooch following further excavations at the location. And there could be more to come as the Jönköping county museum is continuing its investigation of the lake.

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