Fascinating piece on the “discovery” that the famous warrior found at Birka was female
The last week has been a fascinating and disturbing time for Viking mortuary archaeology in the public sphere.
On 8th September 2017, an international academic peer-review article was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropologyreinterpreting a single skeleton (i.e. not multiple skeletons from the same grave) from a 10th-century chamber grave from the Viking Age trading settlement of Birka. It was discovered in the 19th-century excavations at Birka by Hjalmar Stolpe (in 1877). The Bj581 chamber grave contained a skeleton in a flexed position on its right side suggesting the person had originally been interred in a seated position. The body had been furnished with rich apparel with Eastern links, weapons, gaming pieces and two horses at the foot of the grave.
This grave’s occupant has been shown through multiple skeletal determinations to be a ‘female’, and the article proves this by presenting the osteological sexing and the…
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