Uppsala Multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Computational Science

A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics at UPPMAX

2017-09-08

A genomics study performed on Milou has concluded that a high-standing Viking warrior was indeed female, confirming earlier osteological findings that were deemed controversial.

Ever since it was first excavated in Birka in the late 19th century, archaeologists have considered the grave a model of a well-furnished, high-ranking Viking warrior's burial. The assumption that the body was male was only recently brought into question by contextual and osteological findings. Although female Viking warriors feature in old stories, and some women have been found buried with weapons before, this is the first archaeological evidence that women in Viking society held high-ranking military positions.

Read the paper by Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, or this layman's article in Swedish.

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