BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The latest DNA tests have shown that what has long been held as being the resting place of a male Viking warrior is, in fact, that of a woman. According to the research team, their study points out the need to stop assuming the roles males and females might have played in the ancient societies.
Female Viking Warriors Fought Alongside Males and Occupied High-Ranking Positions
“A well-furnished warrior grave” discovered in Sweden has long since been assumed to be holding the remains of a man. This is located in southeastern Sweden, somewhere outside of Stockholm.
The island Birka, which holds these remains, was a key trading place during the Viking Age. Home to hundreds of people, over 3,000 known graves surround the city, with around a third of them having been already excavated.
According to the latest research, this was not the burial site of a man, but of a female Viking warrior. This finding confirms a previous study which suggested that these remnants were those of a female. It also backs up narratives that point to the existence of female Viking warriors which fought alongside the men.
“Written sources mention female warriors occasionally, but this is the first time that we’ve really found convincing archaeological evidence for their existence,” stated Neil Price of the Uppsala University.
The study points out that the grave of this female Viking warrior “prominently placed on an elevated terrace between the town and a hillfort,” very near to the town’s defensive fortress.
This grave, excavated in the 1880s, included all of the equipment of a professional warrior. It contained, among others, a sword, a spear, an ax, two horses, and two shields.
Specialists also found a full set of gaming pieces. This indicates a knowledge of tactics and strategy, and also the buried person’s role as a high-ranking officer.
This latest research confirmed that the grave contains the remains of a woman thanks to DNA tests. The basis for this came from the arm bones and teeth of the skeleton.
There was still sufficient genetic data in them to show that it had a sole X chromosome origin, as it lacked the Y chromosome. Women carry two X chromosomes while men carry an X and a Y as well.
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