Guess what got fished out from a river in Poland? Yep, it’s a super old sword, like a whopping 1,000 years old! People are saying it might have a connection to the Vikings, but we’ll need some smart folks to check it out to be sure. The sword, part of a rare bunch, showed up while workers were cleaning up the Vistula River near Włocławek.
Could This Sword Be from the Time of the First Polish State?
The folks at the Włocławek sport and leisure center found this cool sword. They got an archaeologist, Olaf Popkiewicz, to take a peek. He thinks it’s from the 9th century, which is way before Poland was officially a thing.
Despite being super old and rusty, the sword seems to be from over 1,000 years ago, say the culture office people. That’s back when the House of Piast, the first known royal family in Poland, was starting up. They’re wondering if this sword was there, silently watching the birth of Poland.
A Cool Sword with European Vibes
This type of sword, known for having a simple blade, usually comes from northwestern Europe. Historians connect them to places like Scandinavia and a part of Germany called Franconia from the Middle Ages. This helps us understand how Poland became its own thing, says CBS.
While we think medieval Vikings might have influenced Poland, we’re not exactly sure how. It’s a bit of a mystery in history!
What’s Written on the Sword?
They took a close look at the sword using an X-ray machine and found some hidden writing beneath all the rust. The inscription says “U[V]LFBERTH,” kind of like “Ulfberht.” About 170 swords with this marking have been found in Europe, mostly around the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia.
This guy Sambor Gawiński, who knows a lot about old stuff, says these swords are special. They have a particular mix of carbon in the steel that makes them strong and flexible. They’re from the 9th to 11th centuries, and people have different ideas about them. Some experts think “Ulfberht” might be a person’s name, but there’s still a lot we don’t know.
Is It Really Viking, Though?
Not everyone thinks this sword is from the Vikings. Robert Grochowski, an expert, says we can’t just assume that without digging into the details. He calls it an “early medieval sword” and wants us to be cautious. Swords like these used to be called Viking swords, but now they’re called Carolingian swords, linked to areas near the Rhine River in what’s now Germany.
These Rhineland swords were traded a lot, and they might have ended up in Poland through connections with Scandinavia. So, it looks like we need more research to figure out the whole story.
Smart researchers at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń are on the case. They’re planning to show off this ancient sword in a history museum in Włocławek once they’re done studying it. Cool, right?