Crusader era burials have been found in a cemetery by archaeologists in Salo, Finland, according to Heritage Daily.
While a pipe trench was being dug near a medieval stone church, a local landowner noticed an iron object in the dirt earlier this year in August. The object, which was identified as a sword, was reported to archaeologists at Turku University and the Turku Museum Centre.
The sword was found with a bent blade, a straight hilt, and a three-sided oval pommel. It dates between 1050–1150 CE or the Crusader era, during which time the Swedish brought Christianity to Finland.
The team also found part of the scabbard, additional pieces of blade, iron objects, and human remains in the same area.
A leather belt with 30 square rosette-patterned bronze ornaments is among the most notable finds, along with a buckle, several end and animal head buckles, strap dividers, and leather pieces.
Further study revealed evidence of a grave pattern along the trench and confirmed there’s a larger cemetery with possibly dozens or hundreds more burials.
In a statement, the university said that “this is also the only confirmed burials dating to the end of the Iron Age from the Salon or Uskelanjoki valley. Also notable, is the fact that the deceased have been buried in the cemetery with Christian customs.”