A high-ranking female Viking warrior

Luckily genetic analysis has overridden the sexism of a bunch of archaeologists who assumed that a Viking warrior must be male because they thought only males could be warriors. Apparently there's still pushback, but hooray for genes!

Already in the early middle ages, there were narratives about fierce female Vikings fighting alongside men. Although, continuously reoccurring in art as well as in poetry, the women warriors have generally been dismissed as mythological phenomena.

… Situated in Eastern Central Sweden, Birka was a key centre for trade during the 8th–late 10th century, linked to a social, cultural and economic network that reached beyond the Ural Mountains into the Caliphate in the east and south to the Byzantine Empire. Birka's population of approximately 700–1000 inhabitants consisted of trading families, artisans and warriors.…

One warrior grave, Bj 581, stands out as exceptionally well‐furnished and complete. Prominently placed on an elevated terrace between the town and a hillfort, the grave was in direct contact with Birka's garrison. The grave goods include a sword, an axe, a spear, armour‐piercing arrows, a battle knife, two shields, and two horses, one mare and one stallion; thus, the complete equipment of a professional warrior. Furthermore, a full set of gaming pieces indicates knowledge of tactics and strategy, stressing the buried individual's role as a high‐ranking officer. …

[Genetic testing showed] Bj 581 was a female. Hence the individual in grave Bj 581 is the first confirmed female high‐ranking Viking warrior.

Source: A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics - Hedenstierna‐Jonson - 2017 - American Journal of Physical Anthropology - Wiley Online Library. (References removed; see the original.)

Miraz Jordan @Miraz

Please take a look at my Love Waikawa Beach website too.