When you envision a Swedish Viking from the Middle Ages, what comes to mind? Probably something like this, right?
Recent findings in Sweden may drastically alter your perception of how the Vikings lived and who led them into battle. New DNA tests confirm that this Viking warrior and military leader was, in fact, a woman.
The remains were found in Sweden roughly 130 years ago with an axe, a sword, a spear, armor-piercing arrows, two shields, and two horses. Researchers believe those items reflect the status of a professional warrior.
But it was one particular item above all others that led previous researchers to believe this Viking warrior woman was a man. “Aside from the complete warrior equipment buried along with her… she had a board game in her lap,” noted one archaeologist, “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 taken part in battles.”
Our perception of history is often colored by our own societal norms and biases, so remember, keep an open mind!