Djurhamn Sword


Found an early-16th century officer's sword at the Harbour of the Sheaf Kings. I tried to keep it quiet, but now the mainstream media want my ass. I'm seeing the County Archaeologist about an excavation permit this afternoon. More anon.

Media coverage: Metro, Radio Skaraborg, SVT, ABC-nytt, Radio Stockholm, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Östgöta Correspondenten, Jönköpingsposten, you tell me what else please.

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Oh, well done! There's no such thing as bad publicity.

Slightly off topic, but yesterday I was chatting to a bird biologist, who was thinking about using metal detectors on birds' nests. He studies raptors, and thought it might be a neat way of finding rings from the pigeons that have been eaten.

I hope he never finds a 16th century sword in a nest.


Yeah, well, when I dug holes in my backyard as a kid I found a broken pocketwatch and a key! So there!

Nice job Martin! Must have been a real sweet feeling when you realised what it was. I hope to hear and see more from that locale.

Bob: Tell your friend to try out a pinpointing probe. They are small and sensitive and should do the trick. I myself found a bird ring last weekend when metal detecting in north west Jutland with the local detecting club (other finds spanned the last 2500 years). The data of Ringmærkningscentralen at the Zoological Museum in Denmark has improved significantly with all the rings reported in by detectorists.

I thought it was a fucking barn-door hinge at first!

No bird rings have surfaced in my investigations so far, but we've found a number of dog-tax chits.

Very interesting! Keep us informed! A very nice sword indeed. Maybe I should use it as a base for a weapon I want a smith to make for me.

By Mattias Niord (not verified) on 26 Sep 2007 #permalink

An advanced form of geocaching, indeed!

By Ãsten Rauk (not verified) on 26 Sep 2007 #permalink

What sort of blade is that? Looks like a backsword, maybe?

Thanks everyone!

Tobias, I like to call those pinpointers "dildos" since they have a vibrating indicator mode. What you do is you swallow a coin, and then you stick the pinpointer up etc.

Paddy, you're right, you shouldn't be a afraid to call a sword a spade.

Marcus, it's definitely going to be cleaned, soaked, dried and waxed, but not polished. It's not a display weapon any more.

Avenel, I gather a backsword is a single-edged cavalry sword. I didn't get the impression that the find was single-edged, but we'll see when it's out of the ground.

I'm chronologically promiscuous, my dear boy. Right now I'm dreaming of my next project after the Östergötland central places. Join me in a bog to look for Bronze Age sacrificial deposits!

Oh wow! And it's really good-looking! Any hypotheses on how it ended up like that—has it been buried, lost, sacrificed (nah, too late for that, what?)?

Good thinking, Kai! I'm pretty sure it must have been dropped overboard from a boat or a quayside. Perhaps during combat or by someone who was too drunk to care. After 500 years of shore displacement, the shoreline is 2.5 meters lower than when that sword was new.

The finger-guard (or whatever you call it) is assymetrical. Was it designed that way, or is the piece on the right side broken off?

By Tegumai Bopsul… (not verified) on 26 Sep 2007 #permalink

The word "spade" does it origin from the latin "spatha"? In that case Paddys spade-thing is just right on spot!
Bogging: Martin, remember that bogs tend to be wet. And metaldetectors does not work very well there.

Tegumai, it looks as if the hilt has been symmetrical but that it's taken a hit or corroded locally.

Lars, I'm happy with pots and wooden idols and bog bodies too. Let's just bring a gasoline-fuelled pump!

Fantastiskt underhållande intervju i dagens Metro. Du är min nya idol.

Awsum! But what size is it? (That blue object of comparison doesn't quite do it for me.)

A terrifyingly bizarre free on-line translation of the Metro article from Swedish to English produced the following babel:

"One unique sword from early 1500- speech had find on Creature in Stockholm archipelago.
Self did not believe remember eye when self had open air sword. Such here aphoristic is enormously unusual, says archaeologist Martini Rundkvist to TT.

He each in august out in one skogsområde on Creature and search when his metallsökare suddenly tjöt to and he find the very välbevarade järnsvärdet.

-Sword had certain parities with Gustav Vasas ceremonisvärd. It has nots wherein one nyttoföremål devoid is presumably one officerssvärd. Mine conjecture is that the drop in sea and sedan had landhöjningen done that the numeric am laying far up arid countries, says Rundkvist.

Sword am laying still kvar on fyndplatsen, welfare gömt pending that länsstyrelsen perceive decision if its proceed fate. Husband hope kunna pick up sword and send the on preservation within short.

The archaeological stocktaking had done on initiative of one local project summoned Vasakungarnas Hide. The is Riksantikvarieämbetet as am deciding how archaeological aphoristic ska divide on various mice. Rundkvist am holding for believable that sword småningom will seat in Livrustkammaren, as am exposing weapon from the current period."

uuh? "Archaeological aphoristic ska divide on various mice" sounds like the name of my next funk band.

Or you could call it a metal dicktector. Nice interview in Metro, btw. Next weekend, I'm off to Mjölkalånga with Anders Ödman. Let's see if I can't score a sword of my own.