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Viking warrior women?: Reassessing Birka chamber grave Bj.581
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
Upplandsmuseet, Uppsala, Sweden.
Stockholm Univ, Dept Archaeol & Class Studies, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: Antiquity, ISSN 0003-598X, E-ISSN 1745-1744, Vol. 93, no 367, p. 181-198Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The warrior woman has long been part of the Viking image, with a pedigree that extends from the Valkyries of Old Norse prose and poetry to modern media entertainment. Until recently, however, actual Viking Age evidence for such individuals has been sparse. This article addresses research showing that the individual buried at Birka in an 'archetypal' high-status warrior grave-always assumed to be male since its excavation in 1878-is, in fact, biologically female. Publication, in 2017, of the genomic data led to unprecedented public debate about this individual. Here, the authors address in detail the interpretation of the burial, discussing source-critical issues and parallels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 93, no 367, p. 181-198
Keywords [en]
Sweden, Birka, Viking Age, female warriors, aDNA
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-378730DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2018.258ISI: 000459044500019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-378730DiVA, id: diva2:1294858
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M13-0904: 1Swedish Research Council, 2013-1905Swedish Research Council, 2015-00466Available from: 2019-03-08 Created: 2019-03-08 Last updated: 2019-03-08Bibliographically approved

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