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Mar 22, 2021

The Viking Warrior Who Turned Out to Be a Woman

Most of us have always pictured Viking warriors as being blonde, blue-eyed males. However, it appears there were exceptions. Historians have known for some time that Viking warriors included some women. Now the historians have discovered that at least one woman was a Viking warrior and a leader.

One particular Viking grave was unearthed more than 100 years ago. It obviously was the grave of a chieftain or some similar high-ranking warrior. For more than 100 years, the high-ranking Viking warrior was assumed to be male. Dr Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson has been studying the grave found in the 19th Century.

While the grave and its contents had been known for more than a century, apparently nobody thought to determine the sex of the skeleton. After all, Viking warriors were always males, right?

Wrong.

Thanks to the new technology called DNA, determining the sex of a skeleton is now rather easy. However, nobody thought to test this particular skeleton until recently.

Dr Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson’s team carried out a DNA test on the bones, revealing that they belonged to a biological woman. The discovery shook the academic world. The artifacts buried with the warrior indicated it was the grave of a high level warrior.

As stated in the article, “If this omen actually was the warrior that she was buried as, she probably would have done some not so nice things, so she wouldn’t have been a very good role model. She was a fierce person.”

You can read more and watch a video of this story in the BBC World Service web site at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/reel/video/p099hyk0/the-viking-warrior-who-turned-out-to-be-a-woman.

Mar 22, 2021

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