Archaeology Magazine

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Grave of Early Crusader Unearthed in Finland

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crusader Grave FinlandJANAKKALA, FINLAND—Metal detectorists discovered a twelfth-century grave in a field and alerted Finland’s National Board of Antiquities when they realized it contained a spear tip, an ax blade, and a broken sword. Further investigation revealed that the well-preserved Crusader-era burial actually contained two swords that may have belonged to a nobleman. “There were two swords, one on top of the other, the smaller of which was a Viking-era artifact. There is now speculation that it may have been in a fire. In other words, it may have been an heirloom that was in a cremation fire. So that’s a rare combination. [The second sword is] one of the longest swords in Finland, from the crusade or medieval era roughly,” said excavation leader Simo Vanhatalo.