Researchers from Uppsala University and the University of Stockholm discovered new DNA evidence that showed women's Viking Warriors. The remnants of the iconic tomb of the Swedish Viking Age now reveal that the war was not a mere activity – women were of higher rank in the battlefield.
The survey was conducted on one of the most famous graves from the Viking Age, a grave from the mid-10th century in the Swedish town of Birk in Vikings. The grave was excavated in the 1880s, when the remains of a person surrounded by weapons, including an ax, sword, spear, sharp arrows, a few shields and bone of carcasses and buttocks were discovered. There was also a set of play figures and game board found
The morphology of some skeletal features has long pointed to the fact that it is a woman, but since this grave was an exemplary example of the Viking Warrior for almost a century, it was always assumed that the remains belonged to the male Viking.
The size and shape of the bone can provide a strong suggestion of the sex of a person whose remains have been found, but variations between the sexes and the population are not without their problems. DNA can provide a firmer belief when it is successful to take it out.
Now, genetics, archeogenetics and archaeologists joined forces and solved the mystery. The DNA obtained from the skeleton reveals that the person had two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome.
"This is the first formal and genetic confirmation of a female Viking warrior," said Professor Mattias Jakobsson from the Department of Organic Biology at Uppsala University.
The isotopic analysis confirms that this Viking woman has traveled a lot, which is an additional proof of her high status and is consistent with the warlike society dominated by northern Europe from the 8th to the 10th century.
"The play set indicates that he was a officer, someone who worked with tactics and strategy and could lead the troops in battle. What we have studied is not Valkyra from the saga, but a real warlord, and also a woman, "said Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of the University of Stockholm, head of the study.
"Written elections occasionally mention women warriors, but this is the first time we have found a compelling archaeological proof of their affairs," said Neil Price, professor at the Department of Archeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University.