As It Happens

Icelandic goose hunter unearths 1,000-year-old sword

Árni Björn Valdimarsson was hoping to get a goose, but instead the Icelandic hunter unearthed a 1,000-year-old sword.
Árni Björn Valdimarsson found the 1,000-year-old sword while he was out hunting for geese. (Árni Björn Valdimarsson/Facebook)

Arni Bjorn Valdimarsson was more interested in goose hunting than discovering archeological treasures. But on Saturday, the Icelandic man stumbled upon a rusted sword that archaeologists believe may be over 1,000 years old. The weapon is already being hailed as one of the best-preserved artifacts of its kind.

"We were just looking for some goose tracks," Valdimarsson tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "The sword was laying in the sand and just waiting for someone to look at it!"

"We didn’t find any goose — but I think this is better!” says Árni Björn Valdimarsson, who discovered a 1,000-year-old sword while he was hunting for geese. (Árni Björn Valdimarsson/Facebook)

Valdimarsson suspects the artifact was recently exposed after a flood. He admits that initially he had no idea the find was so significant.

"We started to be archaeological — not hunters!" Valdimarsson quips. "We weren't so excited until I put it on the Facebook and got the reactions."

Within minutes, Valdimarsson says his Facebook post drew the attention of an archaeologist who specializes in swords. She asked that he bring the weapon to the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland.

"[They] told me it was an old viking sword," Valdimarsson explains. "They looked at it and they thought without x-rays or anything, that it should be around 1,000 years old."

The sword is now in the possession of the agency and they will survey the area for further excavation. Valdimarsson suspects there is more to find and is looking forward to learning about the history of the weapon.

"I'm sure they'll find something else," Valdimarsson insists. "We didn't find any goose — but I think this is better!"


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