Scientists have just confirmed that a female Viking warrior once fought alongside the men many years ago, proving that pillaging wasn't just a man's game.
Scientists have just found proof that the remains of a tall Viking warrior belonged to that of a woman. The body was buried alongside heavy weaponry, and two horses had been sacrificed as part of her burial ritual, indicating that she was a very highly respected warrior back in Viking times.
The discovery was made near the Swedish town of Birka back in the 1880s, but only recently did scientists realize that the remains belonged to a woman in her 30s, as detailed in a recent study published in the journal The American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The study examines grave Bj 581, which was originally thought of as an example of an elaborate burial for a high-status male warrior, and no one questioned the gender.
Scientists think she had a high military position, which meant she fought in battles and was highly regarded by other warriors. It was probably unusual to have female military leaders in Viking times, but this proves it is not unheard of.
“War was not an activity exclusive to males in the Viking world,” reads the statement from the University of Stockholm. “A new study conducted by researchers at Stockholm and Uppsala Universities shows that women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield.
“The study was conducted on one of the most iconic graves from the Viking Age. It holds the remains of a warrior surrounded by weapons, including a sword, armour-piercing arrows, and two horses. There were also a full set of gaming pieces and a gaming board. … The warrior was buried in the Viking town of Birka during the mid-10th century. Isotope analyses confirm an itinerant life style, well in tune with the martial society that dominated 8th to 10th century northern Europe.”