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Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

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Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post Neon Knight on Thu 14 Sep - 23:01

https://www.thelocal.se/20170908/confirmed-viking-warrior-was-a-woman


For more than a century, archaeologists and historians have assumed that the remains of a person found buried along with arms and horses in one of the most spectacular graves discovered in the Viking Age town of Birka, in Sweden, belonged to a man. Turns out they were wrong. Osteology- and DNA tests now show that that he has always been a she, and she was most likely a powerful military leader.

“It’s actually a woman, somewhere over the age of 30 and fairly tall too, measuring around 170 centimetres,” Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, an archeologist at Uppsala University, told The Local of the findings that were published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology on Friday.

“Aside from the complete warrior equipment buried along with her – a sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a battle knife, shields, and two horses – she had a board game in her lap, or more of a war-planning game used to try out battle tactics and strategies, which indicates she was a powerful military leader. She’s most likely planned, led and took part in battles,” she said.


Also: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-genetic-proof-women-viking-warriors.html


The morphology of some skeletal traits have long suggested that she was a woman, but since this grave has been the type specimen for a Viking warrior for over a century, it has always been assumed to have belonged to a male Viking. Now, geneticists, archaeogeneticists and archaeologists have worked together and solved the mystery. DNA retrieved from the skeleton demonstrates that the individual carried two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome.

"This is the first formal and genetic confirmation of a female Viking warrior," says Professor Mattias Jakobsson at Uppsala University's Department of Organismal Biology.

Isotope analyses confirm a travelling life style, well in tune with the martial society that dominated 8th to 10th century Northern Europe.

"The gaming set indicates that she was an officer, someone who worked with tactics and strategy and could lead troops in battle. What we have studied was not a Valkyrie from the sagas but a real life military leader, that happens to have been a woman," says Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Stockholm University, who led the study.

"Written sources mention female warriors occasionally, but this is the first time that we've really found convincing archaeological evidence for their existence," says Neil Price, Professor at Uppsala University's Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.


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Re: Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post Aëlwenn on Sun 17 Sep - 11:14

Good, but it’s not really a surprise.
In fact, Viking society was advanced compared to other European middle age nations.
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Re: Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post de Burgh on Thu 21 Sep - 23:40

A true Valkyrie one may say! :-P

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Re: Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post Neon Knight on Fri 22 Sep - 1:49

I wonder if she looked like this:

Spoiler:

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Re: Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post Jehan I on Sat 23 Sep - 8:56

I never get why women weren't more use in war.
Of course for a sword fight, physical strenght is determinant. But they can totally use a bow. Especiallly in case of defensive battle, they can play a role.
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Re: Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post Neon Knight on Sat 23 Sep - 17:21

Jehan I wrote:I never get why women weren't more use in war.
Of course for a sword fight, physical strenght is determinant. But they can totally use a bow. Especiallly in case of defensive battle, they can play a role.
Even a medieval longsword can be used by a woman with training. You'll find some if you look on YouTube. If the woman is better trained than a male opponent, she has a chance to win.

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Re: Viking warrior turns out to have been a woman!

Post Jehan I on Sat 23 Sep - 17:28

Neon Knight wrote:
Even a medieval longsword can be used by a woman with training. You'll find some if you look on YouTube. If the woman is better trained than a male opponent, she has a chance to win.

Longsword is probably too expensive and need a big training to get some result. And also a longsword is a symbol of chivalry, so it might explain why no women were train to use one.
But I made some few archery at school as a very young kid, and trully after some hours we already get some results. The bow weren't the same in middle age but I don't see why a woman cannot make a proper use of it.
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