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Copenhagen, Denmark — A Norwegian archaeologist says a well-preserved, if rusty, iron sword dating to the Viking era has been found in southern Norway.

Lars Holger Piloe says the nearly 3-foot sword was found slid down between rocks with the blade sticking out, and may have been left by a person who got lost in a blizzard and died on the mountain from exposure.

Piloe said Thursday the sword, dating from about 850-950 A.D., was found in Lesja, some 170 miles north of Oslo.

Piloe said the sword’s preservation was likely due to the quality of the iron, as well as the cold, dry conditions. It was found in late August by two men who were on a reindeer hunt about 1 mile above sea level.

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