Viking Warrior Found In Sweden Was A Woman

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Researchers in Sweden found DNA proof that women in Viking society could obtain high-ranking warrior status. "She's most likely planned, led and taken part in battles", she added.

As befitting such a leader, the individual was also holding a board game. But when researchers discovered her remains in 1880s, the weaponry led them to assume this mighty she was a he.

"It isn't the first female warrior but it is definitely the most incontestable one, so it is spectacular", Marianne Moen, a PhD Candidate in Archaeology specializing in gender in the Viking Age at Norway's University of Oslo, tells Newsweek, in response to the Swedish research.

Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN.

A study of the skeletal remains of an influential Viking military leader ― who was long-assumed to be a man ― revealed that she is actually a woman.

There were Viking-era women whose graves contained weapons, but there was a debate about whether the weapons were simply buried with the deceased as heirlooms or if their male skeletons associated with the weapons were missing.

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"This image of the male warrior in a patriarchal society was reinforced by research traditions and contemporary preconceptions".

But now with the help of genetics testing, the archaeogeneticists and archaeologists worked together to determine that the buried warrior carried two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome, and thus the first woman Viking warrior was confirmed.

Hedenstierna-Jonson and her colleagues say it's possible that a second skeleton belonging to a male may be missing from the grave, and that the relics found in the grave belonged to this hypothetical person, but "the distribution of the grave goods within the grave, their spatial relation to the female individual and the total lack of any typically female attributed grave artefacts disputes this possibility".

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.

"You can't reach such a high (military) position without having warrior experience, so it's reasonable to believe that she took part in battles".

The grave was excavated by Swedish archaeologist Hjalmar Stope at the end of the 19 century, and was brought out for a study by Anna Kjellstrom, of Stockholm University, a couple of years ago. "The Viking warrior female showed genetic affinity to present-day inhabitants of the British Islands (England and Scotland), the North Atlantic Islands (Iceland and the Orkneys), Scandinavia (Denmark and Norway) and to lesser extent Eastern Baltic Europe (Lithuania and Latvia)".

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