Scientists show what this 1,000-year-old female Viking warrior looked like

By Shannon Sweeney — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

Scientists believe this is “the first evidence ever found of a Viking woman with a battle injury.”

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

The epic battles of history are not exclusive to men being on the forefront. All That’s Interesting points to skeletal remains found in a Viking graveyard in Solør, Norway that has uncovered at least one fierce female buried in the land of ice and snow

A scientific reconstruction of what a female Viking that is over 1,000 years old
Photo: National Geographic 

Facial reconstruction confirms she was a fighter. British scientists believe that the visible wound on her skull came from a sword, however, they are unsure whether or not this was her actual cause of death. Her remains show signs of healing, which could indicate this would to the skull is a much older injury.

Science was in dispute over her occupational status “simply because the occupant was a woman,” even though her gravesite was filled with an arsenal including arrows, a sword, a shield, a spear and an axe.

3D facial reconstruction gives us a peek at what she might have looked like, battle injury included. Archeologist Ella Al-Shamahi believes this is “the first evidence ever found of a Viking woman with a battle injury.”

Perhaps the belief that female Vikings weren’t warriors can be finally put to rest now. It was most recently challenged in 2017 when a DNA test confirmed a warrior buried with weaponry and horses in Sweden had been female.

The historical achievement will be captured by Al-Shamahi in an upcoming National Geographic documentary.

“I’m so excited because this is a face that hasn’t been seen in 1,000 years,” said Al-Shamahi in All That's Interesting. “She’s suddenly become really real,” she said, adding that the grave was “utterly packed with weapons.”

Professor Neil Price, Viking expert and archaeological consultant, believes women played a substantial role in Viking warfare. The recent findings serve as strong evidence for that.

“There are so many other burials in the Viking world,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we find more [female warriors].”

See you in Valhalla.

This scientific discovery coincides with a mug release coming soon. Valkyries in Nordic mythology — female warriors like Brunhilde, Eir, and Herja — are female helping spirits of the god Odin. They’re referred to in Norse mythology as the “choosers of the slain,” giving them the power to choose who’s admitted to Valhalla and who dies in battle. Thor, the thunder god, and son of Odin, wields the mighty hammer Mjolinir as the protector of Midgard. 

Related: The story of Death Wish Coffee and Valhalla Java


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