Dávid, freshly graduated from Hlohovec, saw an unusual metal object sticking out of the ground during a grill party near the Váh river. He contacted preservationists in Trnava and they recognized the dagger on a stick from the older Bronze Age, almost 4,000-year-old.
“It’s a bronze blade that was a symbol of power or requirement to some status. Not everyone could afford it,” said archaeologist Matúš Sládok as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Until now, only four such daggers were known of in Slovakia, and none in the Trnava region but from the Ipeľ river and village of Santovka near Levice.
Daggers on a stick are connected with the Únětice culture, based in the centre of Europe. The dagger from Hlohovec is large, 24.5 centimetres long and weighing 320 grams. Engraved branches are in the upper part of the blade and three openings are on the bottom part, by which the blade could be attached to a stick. It is of high quality and after thousands of years is still in good condition.
The place of where it was found could tell about the ritual use of the dagger, according to Sládok. He does not exclude that in case of need it could serve as a weapon.
“The riverbank of Váh is probably not the original place where it was put into the water, it probably moved with time,” Sládok stated for TASR. The archaeologists searched in the locality where the blade was found but found only artefacts of modern times.
Sládok appreciated the behaviour of the young man from Hlohovec. A finder’s fee belongs to him in value of 100 percent of the found object; the value will be stated by an expert.
“It’s the second case of paying the finder’s fee according to the new law in the region. Last year a married couple found a pot with silver coins on their property. They gave it to preservationists and their reward may be several dozen thousand euros,” explained Sládok for TASR.
However, it is not possible to pay a fee in all cases, for example, when a skeleton is discovered that is impossible to express its value in numbers, he added. The most important thing is to leave the object where it was found; that way it is possible to search in the area and could increase the value of the object.
The dagger will probably end up in a museum. The Museum of National History in Hlohovec as well as the Archaeological Museum of the Slovak National Museum are both interested. The Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic will decide who gets it.