Female Viking Warrior Grave Identified

In the 1880s, a Viking grave was excavated in the town of Birka in Sweden. It was obviously the grave of a warrior because it was filled with grave goods signifying as much. Along with weapons, like an axe, arrows, shields, a battle knife, a spear, and a sword, two war horses were also found in the grave. In addition, the grave contained a gaming board and game pieces that indicated that the entombed warrior was possibly involved with war strategy. This was definitely a high-ranking warrior.

At the time, archaeologists noticed that the skeleton of the warrior had some features that were rather feminine. For one thing, the hip bones appeared to be those of a female, and the cheekbones were thinner than those of a man. However, no one wanted to believe that such an important Viking warrior was a woman, so these details were ignored.

assets.atlasobscura.com

This year, though, a team of anthropological researchers decided that these physical traits could not be ignored any longer and decided to run DNA testing on the teeth and arm bones of the skeleton. The team was pleasantly surprised when the results revealed that the important Viking warrior was, in fact, a woman. She was around 5 feet, 6 inches tall and died in her 30s.

This is not the first female Viking grave to be found with a warrior’s grave goods. In the past, doubters have claimed that the weapons and other artifacts buried with these women were family heirlooms instead of personal possessions of the deceased. Some have even said that burying a woman in this way meant she was part of a warrior family and not a fighter herself. Burying a woman with weapons would be a reflection on her lineage, not her personal accomplishments.

The sheer number of weapons and the strategy games found in this grave leave little room to doubt that this woman was a military leader of some kind. The researchers do caution, though, that female warriors of such a high rank were probably rare.

The team who conducted the recent study hope that their find convinces other researchers to revisit the assumptions made about other, similar burials. They believe their research shows that archaeologists should not make assumptions about a person’s role in society based solely on their gender.

Is it possible that there are more overlooked Viking shield-maidens waiting to be acknowledged? If so, this could lead to an exciting re-write of history.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Beef Jerky Causing Hallucinations

    A new study has found that people eating beef jerky could be more likely to end up with bipolar disorders. The cured meats like pepperoni and salami can develop mania which is the mental state that causes mood swings. In fact, they are also subject to causing confusion and a...

    Read More
  • Hire An Ambulance In Moscow To Beat Traffic

    If you are making enough money in Moscow and don’t want to get stuck in traffic jams then fear not there is a solution. Wealthy Russian residents are hiring ambulances with luxury interiors to speed them from destination to destination. These “Ambulance Taxis” are an easy way to beat the...

    Read More
  • The Wallet Lost In A Plane Crash Returned 30 Years Later

    Walking up high in the Andes, crossing over glaciers, would not be the sort of place you might find a lost wallet. Climbing up with the air thinning, Ricardo Pena saw some blue material frozen in the ice. It was a jacker, he quickly pulled it out of the snow and saw a wallet tumbled...

    Read More
  • The World’s Biggest Cave Could Fit A Skyscraper

    If you ever get a chance to visit Vietnam, make sure to plan a visit to the Son Doong Cave: the world’s biggest cave. Located near Laos to Vietnam border the Hang Son Doong even has a free-flowing internal subterranean river. In Vietnamese, if you translate the name then you would be left with “cave...

    Read More
  • Brain Scan Shows That Dogs Really Are Man’s Best Friend

    Humans and dogs have lived together for over 30,000 years, so it is only natural that they became best buddies. At least that is what most people refer to dogs as man’s best friend. Over the years we can definitely confirm that dogs have become more popular and even more beloved. In the United States,...

    Read More
  • Renaissance Books That Will Actually Kill You

    Reading is good for you, that is what your parents and the school has always taught you. There are, however, some books in the world that you will want to avoid at all costs. Recently some Renaissance manuscripts were discovered in a school library that was poisonous. In fact, you could die just by reading...

    Read More