Sometimes, the best discoveries are made by accident. This is exactly what happened when a group of workers uncovered a 1,000-year-old sword on the bottom of the Vistula River in Włocławek, Poland.
The workers were doing dredging when one of them noticed something strange in a pile of mud that had been extracted from the bottom of the river. Upon further inspection, the worker recognized it was an old sword and contacted the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in the nearby city of Toruń.
The initial analysis of the sword showed that it is more than 1,000 years old and likely forged in the 10th century. The X-ray scanning revealed that the sword is in good condition beneath all the rust while also showing an inscription that reads “U[V]LFBERTH.”
There is a possibility that it is a variation of the inscription “ULFBERHT,” which is featured on around 100 swords found across Northern Europe. Ulfberht is a Frankish personal name and potentially indicates the origins of the swords.
The sword was taken to Toruń’s Nicolaus Copernicus University for further examination. According to the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments, it “now faces a strenuous process of conservation and scientific development, which may bring us further revelations related to its construction and ornaments, and consequently its wonderful history.”