Archeologists digging at the ship burial site in Salme on the island of Saaremaa found a sword with a gilded bronze ring handle, apparently owned by a very wealthy warlord.
The double-edged sword, dating from about 750 A.D., was broken in pieces and buried alongside its owner. "This has to have been a very wealthy man. This type of sword was carried by high-ranking aristocrats," said professor of archaeology, Jüri Peets.
Other swords found at the site have been missing handles, but the one found now is complete with a bronze handle decorated with ornaments and covered with a thin layer of gold.